Small, but dangerous! This asteroid TODAY will get terrifyingly close to Earth

Dangerous Asteroid 2022 SB is on its way to make a terrifyingly close approach to Earth. Here’s what NASA said.

| Updated on: Sep 18 2022, 17:46 IST
In Pics: 390-foot killer asteroid to come terrifyingly close to Earth on Sep 18; will there be a collision?
1/6 In the midst of all small asteroid flybys in the past few months, NASA has now warned that a colossal asteroid is heading straight for Earth. The asteroid possesses the capability of causing total annihilation on Earth and end all life if it impacts the planet. But will there be an asteroid collision with Earth? (Pixabay)
2/6 Although this asteroid was discovered back in 2005, it has still become a cause for concern for scientists due to its sheer size and the speed at which it is rapidly hurtling towards Earth. Most of these space rock have their origin in the asteroid belt. (Pixabay)
3/6 The Asteroid 2005 RX5 is larger than the Statue of Unity, with a width of 390 feet. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth and will make its closest approach to the planet on September 18 at a distance of 4.7 million kilometers. It is hurtling towards Earth at a staggering speed of 62820 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
4/6 Asteroid 2005 RX3 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids located in the asteroid belt near Jupiter. The asteroid takes 690 days to complete one orbit around the Sun. During this orbit, the asteroid’s maximum distance from the Sun is 350 million kilometers while it comes as close as 108 million kilometers at its nearest point. (NASA)
5/6 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. (Pixabay)
6/6 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. (Pixabay)
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A potentially hazardous asteroid 2022 SB is hurtling towards Earth today. (Pixabay)

There are three asteroids that are lined up to make a very close approach to Earth, NASA's JPL tracker alerted. One of them are as large as a giant building at 390 feet, while another one is plane sized at 180 feet in diameter. However, one of the most terrifying among these is the Asteroid 2022 SB. No, it is not the size that poses a threat to Earth, as it measures 36 foot, but its terrifyingly close approach to Earth that is generating worry. As per the asteroid data tracking page by NASA, Asteroid 2022 SB will fly past the Earth today September 18 at a horrifyingly close distance of just 724,000 miles, which is just three times the distance between Earth and Moon - about 239,000 miles.

NASA says that the asteroid will be traveling at a massive speed of 17.89 per second. To detect the terror in advance, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Center for NEO Studies maintains an impact risk assessment of all the near-Earth objects that will make relatively close approaches to Earth. NASA's JPL has given the tag of potentially hazardous objects to all the space rocks that approach within 4.6 million miles of Earth and has a size larger than about 150 meters. Based on this, the Asteroid has been termed as a “potentially hazardous asteroid.” Are we in any danger?

NASA says that the asteroid will fly by Earth without impacting it as long as it stays on its current trajectory. Also, there is nothing in the asteroid's way that could throw it off course to send it straight at Earth. However, scientists will keep a close watch on it.

How NASA tracks the terror of asteroids

Some of the greatest technologies crated by humanity are behind the tracking of these asteroid. NASA explained that near-Earth objects are basically observed via using optical and radio telescopes to know the size, shape, rotation, and physical composition. “Some of the most detailed characterization data is obtained for NEOs that approach Earth close enough to be observed with planetary radar, performed by radio telescopes at NASA's Deep Space Network and the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico,” NASA revealed.

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First Published Date: 18 Sep, 17:46 IST