MASSIVE 150-foot asteroid hurtling towards Earth! NASA reveals close approach details
A humongous 150 feet wide asteroid is set to make a very close approach to Earth soon, putting space agencies such as NASA on alert.
Asteroids are located far off in space, but some of them often stray towards Earth. There are almost 1.9 million asteroids that are 1KM or larger and millions of other space rocks in space, according to NASA. The space agency keeps an eye on asteroids with its advanced ground and space-based telescopes. Moreover, NASA has recently announced its Daily Minor Planet Project where you can help the space agency spot these potentially dangerous space rocks!
Although asteroids rarely threaten Earth and most of them burn up in the atmosphere itself without causing any harm to the planet, their close approaches serve as a reminder of the importance of continuing to study and track asteroids to better understand and prepare for potential threats.
NASA has now revealed details about a humongous asteroid that is hurtling towards Earth today.
Asteroid 2021 JK7 details
The asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2021 JK7, will make its closest approach to Earth today, May 22, at a distance of 6.3 million kilometers. This space rock, which is nearly the size of an aircraft with a width of 150 feet, is hurtling towards Earth at a blistering speed of 82341 kilometers per hour. It belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, as per NASA.
How NASA studies and tracks asteroids: Tech explained
Surveys done by NASA-supported ground-based telescopes – including Pans-STARRS1 in Maui, Hawaii, as well as the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona – have identified thousands of near-Earth objects. And a space-based telescope called NEOWISE has identified hundreds of others while scanning the skies at near-infrared wavelengths of light from its polar orbit around Earth. NASA uses its ground-based radar to gather precise data about the asteroid's path and its characteristics.
NASA also has a new impact monitoring system in place which uses an algorithm called Sentry-II to calculate the impact risk of Near-Earth Objects. The space agency has a NEO Surveyor mission planned for launch in 2026 to gain even greater in-depth data using a new orbiter.
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