NASA warning! Hazardous asteroid hurtling towards Earth today; will it impact?

Will this huge asteroid, which is set to make a close approach to Earth today, collide with it? Know what NASA said.

| Updated on: Sep 19 2022, 09:53 IST
This asteroid is worth $10,000 Quadrillion
16 Psyche
1/6 hereas other asteroids are generally made up of ice or rocks, this unique asteroid is made up of nickel, which is one of the building blocks of the solar system. One of the biggest asteroids in our Solar System, the 16 Psyche asteroid is made up of gold, nickel and iron deposits and is supposedly worth more than Earth's economy. The asteroid is worth nearly $10,000 Quadrillion. (NASA)
Asteroid and Earth
2/6 The Psyche Mission will also help scientists to study and understand iron cores, a previously unexplored building block of planet formation. The 16 Psyche asteroid mission is a part of NASA's Discovery missions. (Pixabay)
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3/6 The findings of this mission could enable scientists to develop a way of using asteroids as resources. Asteroids could come in handy when building structures in space, such as bases on other planets or even the Moon. Due to their 85 percent metal structure, they could be an excellent source of minerals. It is even said that the raw materials extracted from asteroids could even exceed the metal reserves present on Earth. (NASA)
4/6 The mission has been in the phase known as assembly, test, and launch operations since March 2021. Since the launch window is limited, scientists and engineers have worked round the clock in order to finish the spacecraft's assembly in time. However, due to unexpected software issues, the mission has now been delayed and pushed to 2023. (NASA)
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5/6 NASA said, "Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft's flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on October 11. The mission team needs more time to ensure that the software will function properly in flight." (NASA)
6/6 In order to reach the asteroid, the spacecraft will fly by Mars for a gravity assist in May 2023 and, in early 2026, orbit around asteroid Psyche in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. NASA says that the Psyche mission is expected to launch in both 2023 and 2024, but due to the uncertainties, the exact dates of these potential launch periods are yet to be determined. (NASA)
Asteroid and Earth
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NASA warns of an asteroid which is set to fly past Earth closely. Will it hit or miss the planet? (Pixabay)

NASA expects at least 5 dangerous asteroids to fly past Earth this week. Most asteroids are found in a ring between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter called the Asteroid Belt. These celestial objects are the remains of the period during which our solar system formed, over 4.6 billion years ago. Asteroids regularly fly past Earth at safe distances although NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office still classifies them as Potentially Hazardous Objects due to their close proximity with Earth with the help of its WISE telescope.

NASA has alerted that at least 5 asteroids are expected to make a close approach with Earth this week. Know more about one of these asteroids, named Asteroid 2022 QJ50, which is set to fly past Earth closely today.

Asteroid 2022 QJ50 hurtling towards Earth today, September 19

NASA has warned that a gigantic 110 feet wide asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 QJ50 is hurtling towards Earth. The asteroid is set to make its closest approach to Earth today, September 19, at a distance of 4.2 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth travelling at a staggering speed of 36,684 kilometers per hour.

Asteroid 2022 QJ50 is a bit different from other asteroids that have made close approaches with Earth recently as it belongs to the Aten group of asteroids. The asteroid takes 334 days to complete one orbit around the Sun. During this orbit, the asteroid's maximum distance from the Sun is 190 million kilometers while it comes as close as 91 million kilometers at its nearest point.

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.

NASA can track the orbital path of the asteroid using this infrared data and can even predict its orbit years into the future. As of now, nearly 28,000 near-Earth asteroids have been discovered using various survey telescopes which track objects in the sky.

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First Published Date: 19 Sep, 09:53 IST