NASA: Two giant NEO asteroids heading towards Earth; WATCH them, find out when and where
This is the week for astronomy enthusiasts. After a kilometer wide asteroid passed near Earth yesterday, now two more giant asteroids are going to come near our home planet tomorrow on January 20, according to NASA. These two asteroids, named 2022 AE6 and 2022 AB will make passage keeping a safe distance of 1,810,000 kilometers and 3,700,000 kilometers, respectively. While the distance may seem extremely far, you can actually watch these asteroids! The asteroids will be visible through a telescope at around 5:20 AM IST. The asteroids should be visible across Earth with a telescope. You can go to the link here to track the asteroids better. Given their close proximity to earth, both asteroids have been classified as NEO or Near Earth Objects.
What do we know about the asteroids?
Asteroid 2022 AE6 is a small-body NEO asteroid with a size of 26 meters. NASA has compared its size to that of an aeroplane. It will be passing through Earth tomorrow and then make way for Mars’ orbit before taking a long trajectory towards the far side of the Sun to almost near Jupiter’s orbit. According to NASA, there are very slim chances of the asteroid getting closer than 1,810,000 kilometers.
Asteroid 2022 Ab is another small-body NEO asteroid with a size of 64 meters. For comparison, it is larger than the Statue of Liberty, located in the United States of America. This asteroid will also fly by Earth tomorrow and then stay between the orbits of Venus and Earth till our next interaction with it. According to NASA, the asteroid is moving at a speed of about 21,000 kilometers per hour.
Other asteroids to look for
The week just keeps getting better for enthusiasts as reportedly more asteroids could be visiting us in the near future. Asteroid 2022 AX4 and asteroid 2018 PN22 are the notable among them who will fly past our planet in the coming days. We will be giving detailed information about these asteroids and others accordingly.
"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," NASA’s planetary defense website says.
A careful watch will be kept by all space agencies in case of any unfortunate events. After all, one must always remember that asteroids are dangerous and even the smallest of them could cause great destruction if they were to crash into Earth.