NASA alert! 120-foot Asteroid 2023 JR2 set to buzz Earth TODAY at 27287 kmph

Asteroid 2023 JR2 is set to make its closest approach to Earth at a blistering speed of 27287 km per hour, NASA warned.

| Updated on: Jun 04 2023, 08:32 IST
Are near-Earth objects DANGEROUS? Know what NASA says about scary comets, asteroids
1/5 Earth has objects near it, which sometimes get attracted towards the planet because of its gravitational pull. Of course, not every near-Earth object manages to reach the surface of the planet. The object needs to be large enough to survive its fiery journey through the atmosphere of the Earth. (Pixabay)
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2/5 What is a near-Earth object? Asteroids or comets that can pass within 30 million miles or 50 million kilometers of Earth's orbit are known as near-Earth objects or NEO. According to NASA, "A near-Earth object (NEO) is an asteroid or comet whose orbit brings it within a zone approximately 121 million miles (195 million kilometers) from the Sun, meaning that it can pass within about 30 million miles (50 million kilometers) of Earth’s orbit." (Pixabay)
3/5 NASA further informed that the vast majority of NEOs that enter Earth’s atmosphere disintegrate before reaching the surface (and more than 100 tons of dust particles disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere daily). Those NEOs that are larger than around 98 to 164 feet (30 to 50 meters) in size could cause widespread damage in and around their impact sites. Apart from NEOs, there is another category that NASA uses. These are the potentially hazardous objects (PHO). These are near-Earth objects whose orbit brings them within 4.7 million miles (7.5 million km) of Earth’s orbit, or is greater than 500 feet (140 meters) in size. (Pixabay)
4/5 The highest risk of impact for a known asteroid is a 1 in 714 chance of impact by an asteroid designated 2009 FD in 2185. This means that the possibility that it could impact then is less than 0.2 percent. NASA said, "One asteroid that NASA is studying up close, called Bennu, has a 1/2700 chance of impacting Earth between 2175 and 2195. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will complete a 2-year investigation of Bennu before plucking a sample of asteroid material off its surface and delivering it back to Earth." (Pixabay)
5/5 How can we prevent an asteroid from hitting Earth? Currently, an asteroid impact is the only natural disaster that NASA might be able to prevent. There are a few methods that NASA is studying to deflect an asteroid on a course to impact Earth. One of these techniques is called a gravity tractor—it involves a spacecraft that would rendezvous with an asteroid (but not land on its surface) and maintain its relative, optimal position to use the mutual gravity attraction between the satellite and the asteroid to slowly alter the course of the asteroid. (Pixabay)
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NASA has warned about an asteroid that is speeding towards Earth today. Is it potentially hazardous? (Pixabay)

NASA had launched the NEO Observations Program to fulfill its mission of detecting, monitoring, and studying Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) while identifying any potential threats to our planet including asteroids. The majority of asteroids originate in the asteroid belt positioned between Mars and Jupiter. These asteroids typically possess an elliptical orbit and frequently exhibit unpredictable rotation as they travel through space. Nevertheless, the gravitational influence of the planets within our solar system can disrupt their trajectory, causing them to move haphazardly towards the inner solar system, including Earth. To maintain close watch on such asteroids, NASA can ensure the safety and well-being of our planet by finding ourt if any of them will crash into it.

Today, three asteroids are on their way to make a dangerously close approach towards Earth. One of these asteroids is as large as an airplane, 120-foot in size. The potential threat is from an asteroid named 2023 JR2 which is expected to come very close to Earth today on June 4, according to information provided by NASA. As per NASA's CNEOS, if any asteroid comes within 4.6 million miles or 7.5 million kilometers of Earth, the space agency red-flags it as potentially hazardous and issues an alert. Will this asteroid 2023 JR2 pose a danger to Earth? Here is what NASA says.

Asteroid 2023 JR2 details

As per the asteroid data tracking page by NASA, Asteroid 2023 JR2 will fly past the Earth today at a close distance of just 4.05 million miles. It is coming at a sizzling speed of 27287 kmph, NASA's CNEOS data revealed.

The asteroid 2023 JR2 was detected recently on May 12, 2023 and it belongs to the Amor group, which was named after the archetype object 1221 Amor. said that this asteroid makes one orbit around the Sun in 1117 days. Fortunately, this asteroid has not been classified as potentially hazardous. However, it is essential to maintain constant observation of these sizable celestial bodies to prevent any potential mishap, especially when one of them is predicted to make an alarmingly close approach to Earth.

Asteroid Tracking Technology

Ground-based telescopes and NASA's NEOWISE spacecraft are currently used to locate NEOs. Initially named as WISE (Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer) at its launch in December 2009, the space telescope's mission was to survey the sky in infrared to detect stars, asteroids, and faint galaxies. The telescope fulfilled its mission successfully by February 2011. Later in December 2013, the telescope was re-purposed as NEOWISE to study NEOs, asteroids, and comets after being taken out of hibernation.

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First Published Date: 04 Jun, 08:32 IST
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