Potentially Hazardous Asteroid to pass Earth today! Know details
A mammoth asteroid could make its closest approach to Earth today, October 17. Know details such as speed, size, distance, and more, as per NASA.
You may think asteroids are simply floating rocks in space and while it may seem so due to their appearance, it isn't quite the case. These space rocks can be classified into 3 types based on their structural composition. The most commonly found asteroids are S-type, which are made up of carbon-rich substances. On the other hand, S-type asteroids are made up mainly of silicate minerals and are less common. M-type asteroids are the least prevalent and they are primarily composed of metal. NASA recently sent out a mission to a metal-rich asteroid called 16 Psyche which is supposedly worth more than the whole planet's economy put together, at a staggering $10 quintillion!
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Asteroid 1998 HH49: Details of close approach
NASA, with the help of its advanced ground and space-based telescopes, has tracked a mammoth asteroid whose orbit will bring it very close to Earth today. As per the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), an asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 1998 HH49, is on its way toward Earth and could make its closest approach to the planet today, October 17.
This near-Earth space rock is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of just 1.1 million kilometers and at a speed of 53233 kilometers per hour which is much faster than Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)! It is important to note that while it has been termed as a Near-Earth Asteroid due to its close distance of passing, it is not expected to actually impact the planet.
It belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, which are Earth-crossing space rocks with semi-major axes larger than Earth's. These asteroids are named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.
How big is the asteroid?
NASA has termed the asteroid as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid. Only celestial objects larger than 492 feet that pass Earth at a distance closer than 7.5 million kilometers are designated so, and Asteroid 1998 HH49 fulfils both of these requirements. In terms of size, Asteroid 1998 is between 429 feet and 1050 feet wide.
The asteroid orbits the Sun every 705 days, during which its nearest distance from it is 115 million kilometers, while the farthest distance is 348 million kilometers
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