Dangerous asteroid towards Earth at terrifying speed today! NASA reveals details

A dangerous asteroid is speeding towards the Earth today. It will be coming very close to Earth, but will it hit Earth or miss our planet? This asteroid is massive in size!

| Updated on: Sep 05 2022, 11:27 IST
Asteroid fun facts in pics: NASA reveals all you need to know
Asteroid and Earth
1/5 Space is full of objects, out of which only a few have been discovered. Asteroids are some of these objects. If you are not aware about the dangerous objects called asteroids, here are some facts you should know. First, did you know that asteroids are sometimes called minor planets? Well, they are. (Pixabay)
2/5 Differences between an Asteroid, Comet, Meteoroid, Meteor and Meteorite: According to the information provided by NASA, Asteroid is a relatively small, inactive, rocky body orbiting the Sun. Comet is a relatively small, at times active, object whose ice can vaporize in sunlight forming an atmosphere (coma) of dust and gas and, sometimes, a tail of dust and/or gas. Meteoroid is a small particle from a comet or asteroid orbiting the Sun. Meteor is the light phenomena which results when a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere and vaporizes, in short, a shooting star. While, Meteorite is a meteoroid that survives its passage through the Earth's atmosphere and lands upon the Earth's surface. (NASA)
3/5 Asteroid: Size, frequency and impact- More than 100 tons of dust and sand sized particles are bombarded towards Earth everyday, according to NASA. While, about once a year, an automobile-sized asteroid hits Earth's atmosphere, creates an impressive fireball, and burns up before reaching the surface. Every 2,000 years or so, a meteoroid the size of a football field hits Earth and causes significant damage to the area. Only once every few million years, an object large enough to threaten Earth's civilization comes along. Impact craters on Earth, the moon and other planetary bodies are evidence of these occurrences. Space rocks smaller than about 25 meters (about 82 feet) will most likely burn up as they enter the Earth's atmosphere and cause little or no damage. By comparison, asteroids that populate the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and pose no threat to Earth, can be as big as 940 kilometers (about 583 miles) across. (NASA)
4/5 How is an Asteroid Orbit Calculated? An asteroid's orbit is computed by finding the elliptical path about the sun that best fits the available observations of the object. That is, the object's computed path about the sun is adjusted until the predictions of where the asteroid should have appeared in the sky at several observed times match the positions where the object was actually observed to be at those same times. (Pixabay)
5/5 What is NASA doing to find and learn more about potentially hazardous asteroids and comets? NASA has established a Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), managed in the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The PDCO ensures the early detection of potentially hazardous objects (PHOs) - asteroids and comets whose orbits are predicted to bring them within 0.05 Astronomical Units of Earth (5 million miles or 8 million kilometers) and of a size large enough to reach Earth's surface - that is, greater than approximately 30 to 50 meters. NASA tracks and characterizes these objects and issues warnings about potential impacts, providing timely and accurate information. NASA also leads the coordination of U.S. Government planning for response to an actual impact threat. (AFP)
Asteroid belt
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A massive asteroid is speeding towards the Earth today! Is the planet in any danger? NASA reveals details of its flight. (NASA/JPL)

Another day, another asteroid flyby. It's been the same story the past couple of months with more than 40 asteroids passing by Earth quite closely in August alone. Now, a dangerous asteroid is speeding towards the Earth and will come very close today. This asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 RW is absolutely massive in size. But will the asteroid impact the planet today or will it just miss by enough distance to prevent a catastrophe?

Asteroid 2022 RW speeding towards Earth today

A massive 260 feet wide asteroid is already on its way towards Earth. This easily makes it one of the largest asteroids to pass by the Earth closely this year. The asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 RW, is nearly as big as a building. It is speeding towards Earth at a speed of 40,212 kilometers per hour. According to NASA, the Asteroid 2022 RW will make its closest approach to Earth today at a terrifying distance of just 1.12 million kilometers. That is too close for comfort, but NASA says that though this asteroid is massive in size, Earth is not in any immediate danger.

Did an asteroid terraform Mars?

According to a research paper, recently published in the Geophysical Research Letters by Stephen Mojzsis and Ramon Brasser, a celestial body the size of Ceres dwarf planet collided with Mars and broke away a part of its Northern Hemisphere, leaving behind a deposit of rich minerals. The debris left after the collision slowly came together to form the two moons – Phobos and Deimos. According to the study, the rich minerals account for 0.8 percent of Mars.

The theory is known as "Single Impact Hypothesis”. Stephen Mojzsis said in a statement, "We showed in this paper — that from dynamics and from geochemistry — that we could explain these three unique features of Mars.”

“This solution is elegant, in the sense that it solves three interesting and outstanding problems about how Mars came to be,” he added further.

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First Published Date: 05 Sep, 11:27 IST