Monstrous 170-foot asteroid to make a close approach to Earth today! NASA reveals details
Could this aircraft-sized asteroid impact the Earth and cause any damage?
Nearly 100 tons of dust-sized particles are bombarded on the Earth every day. Once a year, a vehicle-sized asteroid hits Earth's atmosphere, creating a giant fireball although it burns up before reaching the surface. According to NASA, every 2000 years, an asteroid the size of a football field hits Earth and causes significant damage to the area. If you're wondering about planet-killing asteroids, they come along only once every few million years. But that doesn't mean small asteroids are safe. If these space rocks impact the surface, they have the potential to cause localized damage. And now, NASA has warned of another asteroid, and it is a big one.
Asteroid 2022 YN1 key details
NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office has issued an alert against an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 YN1. The 170 feet wide asteroid, which is nearly the size of a commercial aircraft, is expected to fly past Earth closely today, January 6, at a relatively far distance of 7 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a staggering speed of 19836 kilometers per hour.
NASA has issued a warning classifying the Asteroid 2022 YN1 as a “Potentially Hazardous Object” due to the close proximity with which it will pass by Earth. Although it will not collide with Earth, a slight deviation in its trajectory due to the gravitational pull can send it towards Earth.
According to the-sky.org, Asteroid 2022 YN1 was discovered just last month on December 18. It belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids and orbits the Sun in around 524 days. During this orbit, the asteroid's farthest point from the Sun is at a distance of 239 million kilometers and its nearest point is 142 million kilometers.
Did you know?
Most of the asteroids are observed with the help of the NEOWISE Project which repurposed NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer to work as a survey telescope and scan the sky for Near-Earth Objects. NASA then uses its ground-based radar to gather precise data about the asteroid's path and its characteristics.