House-sized asteroid hurtling towards Earth, NASA reveals crucial details!

NASA has revealed that a house-sized asteroid named Asteroid 2018 KR could make its closest trip to Earth soon. Know its speed, distance, and more details.

| Updated on: Jun 07 2023, 10:09 IST
200-foot asteroid among 5 MASSIVE monster rocks set to buzz Earth, NASA warns
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1/6 Asteroid 2023 HO18: Today, this 93-foot asteroid is set to make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of just 290,000 miles. The asteroid is currently hurtling towards our planet at an astonishing velocity of 16774 kmph. (Pixabay)
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2/6 Asteroid 2023 JR2: Today, a 120-foot asteroid is poised to zoom past Earth, approaching as close as 4.05 million miles. This asteroid, similar in size to an airplane, is hurtling towards our planet at a speed of 27,287 kilometers per hour.   (NASA)
3/6 Asteroid 2023 JE5: Another airplane-sized asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of 4.2 million miles on June 4. Asteroid 2023 JE5 is 110-foot space rock that is hurtling toward Earth at a blistering 28713 kmph.  (Pixabay)
4/6 Asteroid 2023 KW2: A monstrous 200-foot asteroid will be making its closest approach to Earth on June 6. It will come as close as 2.82 million miles, according to NASA's JPL. The asteroid is moving at a blistering speed of 36351 kilometers per hour toward Earth.  (Pixabay)
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5/6 Asteroid 2018 KR: This is a house-sized asteroid which is a 59-foot wide space rock that is set to make an uncomfortably close approach towards Earth on June 7. It is speeding at a fiery 17554 kmph. It will be just 1.54 million miles away from Earth at its closest point. (Pixabay)
6/6 Thankfully, none of these asteroids has been dubbed as potentially hazardous. According to NASA, an asteroid larger than about 150 meters that can approach the Earth to within 4.6 million miles is termed a potentially hazardous object. However, NASA's Planetary Science Division, NEOWISE harvests measurements of asteroids and comets to determine the potential risk in advance to avoid any mishaps.  (NASA)
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Asteroid 2018 KR belongs to the Aten group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

To determine the potential danger posed by asteroids that come close to Earth, NASA calculates its orbit to gauge the distance at which it will pass the planet. The asteroid's orbit is computed by finding the elliptical path about the sun that best fits the available observations of the object using various space and ground-based telescopes such as NASA's NEOWISE telescope and its brand-new Sentry II algorithm. 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.

With the help of similar tech, NASA has now revealed details about an asteroid that is set to come close to Earth today.

Asteroid 2018 KR

The asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2018 KR, is on its way towards Earth today, June 7. The asteroid was spotted by NASA's Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), which is responsible for monitoring the skies and keeping a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs).

Wondering how big it is? NASA has revealed that this asteroid is almost as big as a house, with a width of 59 feet. Its first close approach with Earth in recorded history occurred on December 28, 1913, as it passed the planet at a distance of 3.3 million kilometers. After today, the asteroid will come close to Earth in 2043!

Asteroid 2018 KR is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 2.4 million kilometers today at a speed of 17554 kilometers per hour, as per NASA. It belongs to the Aten group of asteroids, which are Earth-crossing Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) with semi-major axes smaller than Earth's. They are named after the asteroid 2062 Aten.

How asteroids come close to Earth

According to NASA, the orbits of asteroids can be changed by Jupiter's massive gravity and by occasional close encounters with planets like Mars or other objects. These accidental encounters can knock asteroids out of the main belt and hurl them into space in all directions across the orbits of the other planets.

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First Published Date: 07 Jun, 10:09 IST