NASA Alert: Asteroid today! Space rock faster than a hypersonic missile heading for Earth

NASA has issued an alert due to an asteroid making close approach to Earth today. Here’s what the agency said.

| Updated on: Sep 21 2022, 12:49 IST
In Pics: This fearsome and ugly asteroid hurtling towards Earth today; collision likely?
1/6 Check out what NASA says about the scary Asteroid 2020 PT4 which is set to pass very close to Earth today, September 15. (Pixabay)
2/6 NASA has warned that an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 SH is headed straight for Earth today. The asteroid was spotted by NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which is responsible for monitoring the skies and keeping a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). (NASA)
3/6 he asteroid is set to make its closest approach to Earth today, September 20, at a distance of 3 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth travelling at a staggering speed of 27,288 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
4/6 Asteroid 2022 SH was discovered on September 16 2022 and it belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. According to, the asteroid completes 1 orbit around the Sun in 999 days. Its farthest distance from the Sun is 436 million kilometers while the nearest distance is 149 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
5/6 NASA keeps a watch on these asteroids by studying data collected by various telescopes and observatories such as the Pan-STARRS, the Catalina Sky Survey and the NEOWISE telescope. NASA also has a NEO Surveyor mission planned for launch in 2026 to gain even greater in-depth data using a new orbiter. (Pixabay)
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6/6 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. NASA can track the orbital path of the asteroid using this infrared data and can even predict its orbit years into the future. (HT_PRINT)
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Asteroid faster than a missile is headed for Earth today, says NASA. (Pixabay)

We're just 20 days into the month of September and we have already witnessed more than 20 asteroids passing very close to Earth. August witnessed nearly 35 asteroids making close approaches to Earth and it seems like September is on the path to reaching those numbers too. 3 asteroids passed very close just yesterday and 2 more are on their way today. NASA has issued an alert about an asteroid which is heading for Earth today.

Asteroid 2022 SR2 heading for Earth today, Sept 21

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office has issued an alert about Asteroid 2022 SR2. The asteroid is heading for Earth today, Sept 21 and will make a close approach with the planet at a distance of just 449000 kilometers, making it one of the closest asteroid approaches we have had this month. For reference, the Moon is nearly 384,400 kilometers from Earth and Asteroid 2022 SR2 is not far off from it.

Asteroid 2022 SR2 was observed just 2 days ago on September 19, 2022 when it was discovered that it was already on its way towards Earth. The asteroid is hurtling towards the planet at a blistering speed of nearly 78,264 kilometers per hour, which is approximately 5 times faster than a hypersonic missile.

It belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids which orbit the Sun in the main asteroid belt near Jupiter. During this orbit, the asteroid's farthest distance from the Sun is 567 million kilometers whereas its nearest distance from the Sun is just 86 million kilometers.

NASA's Lucy Mission to seek trojan asteroids in the solar system

NASA launched its Lucy spacecraft on Oct. 16, 2021. This is NASA's first space mission to study the Trojans, a group of asteroids which orbit the Sun in two groups.

To achieve this objective, The Lucy spacecraft has several precision instruments on board which will help study the asteroids and collect data. The instruments include an Imaging Spectral Array which is an infrared imaging spectrometer to study the absorption lines for different silicates, ices and organics that may be on the surface of the Trojan asteroids, according to NASA.

Other instruments include a Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager for capturing high-resolution images of the asteroids and a Thermal Emission Spectrometer for measuring surface temperature of the Trojan asteroids.

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First Published Date: 21 Sep, 12:49 IST