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