Dangerous asteroid hurtling towards Earth today, Sept 27; NASA issues warning

Massive space rock heading for Earth today. Know what NASA said about the asteroid.

| Updated on: Sep 27 2022, 11:07 IST
In Pics: Asteroid collision? NASA spots a 76-foot asteroid heading for Earth
1/6 Yesterday saw mass asteroid flybys! As many as four asteroids made close approaches with Earth in just one day and zoomed past at fearsome speeds. Now, NASA has warned that another massive asteroid is headed towards Earth. (HT_PRINT)
2/6 Asteroid 2022 SR4 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids located in the asteroid belt near Jupiter. The asteroid takes 403 days to complete one orbit around the Sun. During this orbit, the asteroid’s maximum distance from the Sun is 210 million kilometers while it comes as close as 110 million kilometers at its nearest point. (Pixabay)
3/6 The asteroid is hurtling dangerously towards Earth and is set to make its closest approach to the planet today, September 26, at a distance of just 3 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth travelling at a staggering speed of 39,672 kilometers per hour, according to NASA. (Pixabay)
4/6 Although it is safe to say that people on Earth will remain unharmed as it is expected to pass by Earth at a safe distance. (Pixabay)
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5/6 NASA tech behind asteroid tracking - To track these asteroids, NASA conducts surveys done using its ground-based telescopes such as the Pans-STARRS1 in Maui, Hawaii, as well to identify thousands of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). (NASA)
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6/6 NASA can track the orbital path of the asteroid using this infrared data and can even predict its orbit years into the future. As of now, nearly 28,000 near-Earth asteroids have been discovered using various survey telescopes which track objects in the sky. (NASA)
NASA warns of Asteroid 2022 SZ2 heading for Earth. Here’s what the space agency said.
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NASA warns of Asteroid 2022 SZ2 heading for Earth. Here’s what the space agency said. (NASA)

NASA conducted its first planetary defense test during today by smashing a spacecraft into an asteroid to deflect it off its course. This was the first ever test done by any space agency to prepare for any potential killing asteroid. The test was conducted on the Dimorphos asteroid which is nearly 560 feet in diameter. Although an asteroid as large as Dimorphos very rarely makes close approaches to Earth, smaller asteroid flybys are frequent. Now, another one is on its way.

Asteroid 2022 SZ2 heading for Earth

NASA has warned that a huge asteroid, as big as a house, is heading for Earth today, September 27. The asteroid is already on its way, travelling at a staggering speed of 12,276 kilometers per hour, which is nearly the speed of a hypersonic ballistic missile. According to NASA, the asteroid will make its closest approach to the planet today, at a distance of just 566,000 kilometers or 0.00379852 Astronomical Units. That is just a few hundred thousand kilometers further away from the Moon!

According to theskylive.com, Asteroid 2022 SZ2 is currently 594,860 kilometers far from us, equivalent to 0.003976 Astronomical Units. Light takes 1.9842 seconds to travel from Asteroid (NEO) 2022 SZ2 and arrive on Earth. An astronomical unit (AU, or au) is basically a unit of length equal to the average, or mean, distance between Earth and the Sun, that is, 149,597,870.7 kilometers.

Did you know?

NASA DART test was captured by a small companion satellite which followed the DART spacecraft to the target asteroid Dimorphos. The spacecraft's camera is a cubeSAT called LICIACube (Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging Asteroids). The cubeSAT is made up of two key components, LUKE (LICIACube Unit Key Explorer) and LEIA (LICIACube Explorer Imaging for Asteroid), both of which capture key data from the collision.

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First Published Date: 27 Sep, 10:41 IST