Humongous 232-foot asteroid heading for Earth, says NASA; Check speed, distance

    NASA has issued a warning that an asteroid is heading for Earth and there is every likelihood of a dangerously close encounter today.
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Nov 08 2022, 11:14 IST
    Terrifying asteroid speeding towards Earth today! Clocked at 25740 kmph, says NASA
    asteroids
    1/6 What are asteroids? Well, NASA defines asteroids as rocky, airless remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. Most of them can be found orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter within the main asteroid belt. (Pixabay)
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    2/6 Planetary Defense Coordination Office is responsible for monitoring the skies and keeping a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). If any NEO comes within 8 million kilometers of Earth, the organization red flags the NEO and issues an alert. (Pixabay)
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    3/6 Now, NASA has red-flagged an asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 US6, which is dangerously heading for Earth today, November 7. NASA has warned that Asteroid 2022 US6 is huge with a size ranging between 49 feet and 104 feet. (Pixabay)
    Asteroid and Earth
    4/6 Asteroid 2022 US6 is already on its way towards Earth travelling at a staggering speed of 25740 kilometers per hour and will just miss the planet today at a very close distance, November 7. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of just 3.7 million kilometers, according to NASA. (Pixabay)
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    5/6 According to the-sky.org, the Asteroid 2022 US6 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. It was discovered recently on October 17. This asteroid takes 510 days to complete one trip around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 244 million kilometers and nearest distance is 130 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
    Dinosaurs and asteroid
    6/6 Asteroids have been responsible for some of the biggest events in history. There have been many incidents in the past which have changed the course of life on the planet. From the Chelyabinsk disaster that claimed many lives to the meteor which caused the extinction of dinosaurs millions of years ago, whenever meteors have crashed on Earth, they have impacted lives. (Pixabay)
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    Know more about this huge asteroid hurtling towards Earth today. (Pixabay)

    Did you know that most asteroids are irregularly shaped, though a few are nearly spherical, and they are often pitted or cratered? As these asteroids revolve around the Sun in their elliptical orbits, they also rotate, sometimes quite erratically, tumbling as they go, according to NASA. Asteroids often make close approaches to Earth, generally missing the planet by a couple of hundred thousand kilometers. However, they are still monitored by NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office which keeps an eye on these Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) for any potential impact. Now, the organization has warned that an asteroid is hurtling towards Earth today.

    Asteroid 2022 UK5 key details

    NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which keeps an eye on dangerous Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), has red-flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 UK5 due to its extremely close approach to the planet. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth today, November 8, at a distance of 5.4 million kilometers.

    According to NASA, the space rock is already on its way towards the planet travelling at a speed of nearly 18648 kilometers per hour, which is nearly the speed of a hypersonic ballistic missile! What makes this asteroid stand out from other asteroids is its humongous size. Asteroid 2022 UK5 has a width ranging anywhere between 104 feet to 232 feet. That means the Asteroid 2022 UK5 is the size of a commercial aircraft!

    According to the-sky.org, the Asteroid 2022 UK5 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. It was discovered just a couple of months ago on September 24. This asteroid takes 595 days to complete one trip around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 268 million kilometers and nearest distance is 146 million kilometers.

    Did you know?

    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: 08 Nov, 11:13 IST
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