NASA warns of hazardous asteroid hurtling dangerously close to Earth TODAY | Tech News

NASA warns of hazardous asteroid hurtling dangerously close to Earth TODAY

Asteroid threat is looming over Earth today! Could this space rock impact the surface? Know what NASA has to say.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Nov 15 2022, 11:26 IST
Are near-Earth objects DANGEROUS? Know what NASA says about scary comets, asteroids
Asteroid and Earth
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)
Asteroid and Earth
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)
Asteroid and Earth
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)
Asteroid and Earth
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)
Asteroid and Earth
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Know what NASA has to say about this incoming asteroid. (Pixabay)

If you've ever wondered if asteroids have ever impacted the Earth, then you'd be amazed to know that once a year, a vehicle-sized asteroid hits Earth's atmosphere, creating a giant fireball although it burns up before reaching the surface. An asteroid the size of a football field hits Earth and causes significant damage to the area concerned approximately every 2000 years. If you're wondering about planet-killing asteroids, they come along only once every few million years. And many are of the view that one such killer asteroid is due.

In the meanwhile, NASA has warned that another asteroid is on its way towards Earth and although it might not be a planet killer, it could still cause localized damage if it impacts the surface, if it can manage to survive the fiery passage through the Earth's atmosphere.

Asteroid 2022 VL5 information

According to NASA, the asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 VL5 by NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies, is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today, November 15, at a distance of just 3.2 million kilometers. This aircraft-sized asteroid, with a width of nearly 76 feet, is zooming towards Earth at a blistering speed of 29289 kilometers per hour. However, you can be relieved as it is not expected to impact the planet.

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According to the-sky.org, the Asteroid 2022 VL5 was discovered just a week ago on November 9. It belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids and takes just 365 days to orbit the Sun, which is strikingly similar to Earth's orbit. During this journey, its maximum distance from the Sun is 191 million kilometers and minimum distance is 108 million kilometers.

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First Published Date: 15 Nov, 11:25 IST
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