Speeding at 12478 kmph, 230-foot asteroid heading towards Earth, says NASA | Tech News

Speeding at 12478 kmph, 230-foot asteroid heading towards Earth, says NASA

Beware! A giant 230-foot asteroid is set to make a close approach to Earth at a blistering speed of 12478 km per hour.

| Updated on: Jan 29 2023, 06:32 IST
Joy! NASA’s asteroid mission achieved mission impossible, created history
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1/6 Nasa’s DART was the first demonstration of the “kinetic impactor” method of asteroid mitigation. This was the first time, when humans altered the path of a celestial body purposefully. (AFP)
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2/6 NASA chief Bill Nelson said, “All of us have a responsibility to protect our home planet. After all, it’s the only one we have. This mission shows that NASA is trying to be ready for whatever the universe throws at us.” He added that the US agency has proven that it can defend the planet. (via REUTERS)
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3/6 Before the crash, asteroid Dimorphous took about 11 hours and 55 minutes to orbit the larger asteroid Didymos, whereas, post crash, it took only 11 hours and 23 minutes to orbit the larger asteroid. (via REUTERS)
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4/6 DART impact has shortened the orbit by 32 minutes. None of these space rocks - Dimorphous as well as Didymos pose any threat to our planet, hence it was an ideal target to carry out the DART mission. At the time of collision, the DART spacecraft was traveling at 14000 (22,530-kmph) miles per hour. (via REUTERS)
5/6 The DART team is currently measuring how efficiently the spacecraft transferred its momentum to the asteroid. “DART has given us some fascinating data about both asteroid properties and the effectiveness of a kinetic impactor as a planetary defense technology. The DART team is continuing to work on this rich dataset to fully understand this first planetary defense test of asteroid deflection,” said Nancy Chabot, the DART coordination lead at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in a press statement. (via REUTERS)
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6/6 Didymos, the larger asteroid of the binary pair is about a half mile (780 meters or 2559 feet) in diameter. The moonlet, Dimorphos, is about 525 feet (160 meters) in diameter. (via REUTERS)
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NASA has warned about a giant potentially hazardous space rock that will come extremely close to Earth. (Pixabay)

A massive asteroid is on its way to Earth! The worrying part is that it is set to come dangerously close. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory informed on its website that a potentially hazardous, 230-foot asteroid is speeding towards Earth and will come very close on January 29, that is today. This asteroid has been named 2022 SO113.

What makes this asteroid potentially hazardous? NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office monitors the skies and keeps a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). If any NEO comes within 8 million kilometers of Earth, the organization red flags the NEO and issues an alert. So should you worry about this upcoming 230-foot-wide asteroid? Know what NASA said.

Danger of 230-foot wide asteroid

As per the asteroid data tracking page by NASA, Asteroid 2022 SO113 will fly past the Earth today on January 29 at a very close distance of just 2.6 million miles at a speed of 12478 kmph. NASA's JPL has given the tag of potentially hazardous objects to all those space rocks that approach within 4.6 million miles of Earth and have a size larger than about 150 meters. This is what makes this giant 230-foot asteroid a potential threat to Earth.

The asteroid 2022 SO113 was discovered on September 16, 2022 and it belongs to the Apollo group. Sky.org said that this asteroid makes one orbit around the Sun in 478 days. After this, the next expected close approach of this giant space rock is on December 11, 2039.

Tech behind Asteroid tracking

In order to monitor these asteroids, there are several Earth and Sky-based technologies like telescopes, satellites, and more deployed by NASA. “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: 29 Jan, 06:32 IST