GIANT 130-foot asteroid rushing towards Earth TODAY at 42404 kmph, NASA warns

NASA has warned that a massive 130-foot wide Asteroid 2023 HX will make its closest approach towards Earth today. Know all here.

| Updated on: Apr 23 2023, 08:58 IST
NASA: DART Mission set to DEFLECT giant asteroid
1/5 Apocalyptic movies like Deep Impact, Armageddon and Don't Look Up have always explored the ‘What Ifs’ of world destruction. Now, NASA is set to defend the planet against a very similar threat that is posed by asteroids. (Pixabay)
DART mission
2/5 The DART mission will cost a staggering $240 million. The aim of the mission is to smash a spacecraft into the Dimorphos asteroid to deflect it away from its path. While this asteroid in no way threatens Earth, the NASA asteroid mission is to carry out an experiment to gain greater knowledge as to what happens when a craft is crashed against a space rock. This knowledge will be used if an actual asteroid threatens to crash against the Earth. It will help avert an Armageddon on Earth and perhaps, even save humanity from extinction. (NASA)
Asteroid and Earth
3/5 According to Financial Times, chief scientist at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, Andy Cheng, came up with the DART concept along with a senior researcher. Dr. Cheng said, “It feels very exciting — like a dream come true — for something we’ve been thinking about for 20 years to be actually happening." (Pixabay)
4/5 The DART mission has already sent the main spacecraft to space in November, 2021. It includes a satellite made by the Italian Space Agency. Another spacecraft is set to launch by 2026, to measure the impact. (NASA)
5/5 NASA said, "DART is the first-ever mission dedicated to investigating and demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection by changing an asteroid’s motion in space through kinetic impact." (Pixabay)
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A 130-foot asteroid is rushing towards Earth today, NASA warned. (REUTERS)

Giant asteroids are often found orbiting the Sun in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. But they also pose a potential danger to Earth if they stray out of there and head towards a collision with our planet. A perfect example of such a mishap in the past is the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago on EarthThe impact of the asteroid caused a terrifyingly large amount of energy to be released, resulting in extensive environmental alterations that eventually led to the extinction of dinosaurs and several other species. These asteroids can surely be lethal to Earth.

Now, five such dangerous asteroids are rushing toward Earth today! The largest of them all is said to have a diameter of 130-foot, which is equal to an airplane. It is dubbed asteroid 2023 HX, which will make the closest approach at a distance of 4.19 million miles, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) mentioned. This airplane-sized asteroid is moving at a speed of 42404 kilometers per hour, CNEOS data revealed. Should you worry about this asteroid? Know what NASA says.

The danger of Asteroid 2023 HX

Any space rocks with a size of over 150 meters that come within 4.6 million miles of Earth are labeled as potentially hazardous objects by NASA's JPL. Fortunately, this particular asteroid 2023 HX has not been classified as a threat to Earth. Nevertheless, there are instances when the gravitational force of a planet can cause an asteroid to deviate its course and head towards a planet like Earth, posing a potential impact risk.

Hence, NASA keeps a constant eye on the movements of the asteroids to ensure any kind of threat is quickly found.

How NASA tracks these asteroids

Without the appropriate tech, monitoring potentially hazardous asteroids on a daily basis is a highly challenging task. To overcome this difficulty, NASA utilizes optical and radio telescopes to determine the asteroids' size, shape, rotation, and physical composition. The NEOWISE telescope, which is a technical marvel, is among the tools that assist scientists in tracking these asteroids. Additionally, NASA's Deep Space Network radio telescopes and the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico obtain comprehensive characterization data about these asteroids.

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First Published Date: 23 Apr, 08:58 IST
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