NASA asteroid watch says BUS-sized rock hurtling towards Earth today
Three big asteroids just flew by near Earth yesterday and today another huge asteroid will approach our planet, according to NASA.
From one asteroid scare to the next, the week just keeps ratcheting up the fear factor! While astronomy enthusiasts are thrilled at teh prospect of watching asteroids approach Earth at mind-numbing speeds, for the rest of the population on Earth, they manage to generate fear. What if...? Just a day after three asteroids flew past Earth, including a giant 720 feet (210 mtr) wide asteroid, today another big asteroid is headed towards our home planet. Named 2022 CX4 by NASA, this bus-sized asteroid has been classified as a near Earth object or NEO. NEO asteroids are those which are so close to our planet that a slight fluctuation in its orbital path can lead it to crash straight into Earth, causing a global catastrophe. Although the asteroid is expected to pass at a distance of more than 10 lakh kilometers, in terms of interplanetary distances, this is too small for comfort. However, as of now, there are no risks of the asteroid hitting Earth, so make sure to keep an eye out for this space rock!
A big reason why we are able to calculate whether an asteroid can cause a potential risk to us or not, is because NASA has been very vigilant towards all asteroids around the Earth. The space agency also established the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) in 2016, which identifies and assesses all NEO asteroids to ensure that none pose a threat to the blue planet. NASA also has an Asteroid Watch dashboard that tracks asteroids and comets that will make relatively close approaches to Earth.
Bus-sized asteroid zooming towards Earth
The asteroid 2022 CX4 is a 28 feet wide asteroid, which is approximately the size of a large bus. While it may appear small, it can still cause catastrophic damage as it travels at a speed of thousands of miles per hour. This asteroid is revolving around the Sun in an elliptical orbit, tracing up to Earth on one elongated end, and Mars on the other. In fact, if Earth was in any other position in its orbit, the asteroid would not even come close to it as this is the only intersection point for both the celestial bodies.
If you want to know more about this asteroid, you can go to NASA's Small Body Database by clicking this link here.
Earlier, NASA wrote a 5-page letter to protest against the launch of 30,000 Gen 2 Starlink satellites by SpaceX. The space tech company run by Elon Musk has been criticized by NASA for congesting the lower orbit which can not only endanger its future missions and astronauts but also affect PDCO's ability to monitor asteroids and watch out for any potentially hazardous asteroid gunning for the Earth.
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