Scary! 48-foot Asteroid hurtling towards Earth, says NASA; will come terrifyingly close

Asteroid 2022 VL1 is hurtling towards Earth at an astonishing speed of 31306 kmph. Should you worry? Know what NASA says.

| Updated on: Nov 13 2022, 12:13 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)
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NASA has flagged an asteroid that will make a close approach to Earth today. (Pixabay)

Planet-killer asteroids careen around the solar system, in the neighbourhood of the Earth, almost on a daily basis. To determine the potential danger from these space wanderers, scientists constantly hunt for any sizable ones that may pose a threat to Earth. Already, NASA has built up a massive database of thee asteroids called near-Earth objects (NEOs). The idea is to find the asteroid that may be heading straight for a collision course with the Earth. And the endeavour is to keep a constant eye on all these asteroids in order to quickly find out if any one of them has had a slight deviation from its orbit and is now getting dangerously close to Earth. NASA hopes to provide an early warning for any such asteroid. And now, NASA has warned of a potentially hazardous asteroid today.

These asteroids don't even need to be large to hit the Earth! Small in size asteroids can be potentially hazardous too, just like this upcoming asteroid named 2022 VL1. NASA's prediction says that it will come extremely close to the Earth. Should you worry? Know all details here.

Asteroid 2022 VL1 hurtling toward Earth

NASA's JPL keeps sharing information about all the upcoming potentially hazardous asteroids which pose a threat to Earth. Asteroid 2022 VL1 which is just 48-foot or 15 meters in size is flagged as a potentially hazardous asteroid, and the reason is, its close proximity. NASA's JPL Asteroid Watch says, it will trespass into the Earth's solar system neighborhood and it will come terrifyingly close. This asteroid today will come as close as just 282000 miles (0.282 million miles).

NASA's Asteroid Watch dashboard says the asteroid that approaches within 4.6 million miles or 7.5 million kilometers of Earth and measures larger than about 150 meters in size is known as a potentially hazardous asteroid. Hence, Asteroid 2022 VL1 is a potential threat. It is also moving at an astonishing speed of 31306 kmph, which is almost double the speed of a Hypersonic Missile at 14760 km per hour.

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First Published Date: 13 Nov, 11:56 IST