Plane-sized asteroid to make closest approach on Aug 31, says NASA; scary space rock is a huge 130-ft wide

NASA has warned that a massive 130-foot wide Asteroid 2022 QX 1 will make its closest approach towards Earth on August 31. Here's all you need to know.

| Updated on: Aug 29 2022, 22:53 IST
What is an Asteroid? NASA defines what these dangerous objects in sky are
1/5 An asteroid is a small, rocky object hurtling through the sky. When seen in a telescope, an asteroid appears as a point of light, according to NASA. Most asteroids are found in a ring between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter called the asteroid belt. (Pixabay)
2/5 Asteroids have several shapes, they may be spherical, elongated, or oddly shaped. Some asteroids even have their own satellites! Asteroids also vary in size. From Vesta, the largest at about 530 kilometers in diameter, to asteroids that are less than 10 meters in diameter, they can be found in all shapes and sizes. (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroids are also called minor planets. These celestial objects are the remains of the period during which our solar system formed, over 4.6 billion years ago. According to NASA, the current known asteroid count is 1,113,527. (HT_PRINT)
4/5 Asteroids can potentially threaten life on Earth. Apocalyptic movies like Deep Impact, Armageddon and Don't Look Up have always explored the ‘What Ifs’ of world destruction, with the most famous means of world destruction being asteroids crashing into Earth. (Pixabay)
5/5 To counter this, NASA had readied itself to potentially defend the planet against a very similar threat that is posed by asteroids by preparing the DART mission. It involves smashing a spacecraft into an oncoming asteroid at a speed of nearly 23,000kph. This knowledge will be used if an actual asteroid threatens to crash against the Earth. It will help avert an Armageddon on Earth and perhaps, even save humanity from extinction. (NASA)
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Asteroid 2022 QX 1 will zoom past Earth soon, NASA warned. (Flickr)

Earth may face a bit of a danger from this upcoming space rock hurtling along in space at terrifying speed! Fortunately, Earth has escaped two massive "potentially hazardous" asteroids after they made their closest approach towards Earth recently. A 130-foot-sized Asteroid 2022 QX4 and another 100-foot Asteroid passed our planet at a marginal distance. But the fear of these horrific space rocks is not over yet! The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has issued a warning that another massive airplane-sized space rock, asteroid 2022 QX1, will reach its closest approach to Earth on August 31. The worrying part is that NASA flagged it as a "potentially hazardous object".

The reason is its close proximity! According to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the upcoming asteroid is 130-foot in size and is expected to come as close as 1.28 miles toward the Earth. NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) confirmed that the asteroid has a velocity of 21.12 km per second. NASA keeps a constant track of these monstrous space rocks which can bring destruction if they strike the Earth.

NASA dashboard displays the next five Earth approaches to within 4.6 million miles and having a size larger than about 150 meters that can approach the Earth to within this distance is termed a potentially hazardous object. Hence, Asteroid 2022 QX1 is flagged as a potentially hazardous object. NASA will keep an eye on this upcoming asteroid, in case it poses any threat to Earth in the next couple of days.

NASA and its Asteroid count

NASA says, "Asteroids, sometimes called minor planets, are rocky, airless remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago.” And you will be amazed to know that NASA has found around 1,113,527 asteroids till date and it's still counting!

Further, in order to defend Earth from the terror of these rocks coming every other day towards the Earth, NASA had deployed its DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) spacecraft, which will crash right into the asteroid's core to deflect it from its original path.

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First Published Date: 29 Aug, 22:53 IST