Terrifying 160-foot monster asteroid moving towards Earth at 30564 kmph TODAY, warns NASA

    NASA warns that a huge 160-foot wide asteroid will be coming dangerously close to the Earth today, November 30.

    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Nov 30 2022, 20:32 IST
    Asteroid fun facts in pics: NASA reveals all you need to know
    Asteroid and Earth
    1/5 Space is full of objects, out of which only a few have been discovered. Asteroids are some of these objects. If you are not aware about the dangerous objects called asteroids, here are some facts you should know. First, did you know that asteroids are sometimes called minor planets? Well, they are. (Pixabay)
    2/5 Differences between an Asteroid, Comet, Meteoroid, Meteor and Meteorite: According to the information provided by NASA, Asteroid is a relatively small, inactive, rocky body orbiting the Sun. Comet is a relatively small, at times active, object whose ice can vaporize in sunlight forming an atmosphere (coma) of dust and gas and, sometimes, a tail of dust and/or gas. Meteoroid is a small particle from a comet or asteroid orbiting the Sun. Meteor is the light phenomena which results when a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere and vaporizes, in short, a shooting star. While, Meteorite is a meteoroid that survives its passage through the Earth's atmosphere and lands upon the Earth's surface. (NASA)
    3/5 Asteroid: Size, frequency and impact- More than 100 tons of dust and sand sized particles are bombarded towards Earth everyday, according to NASA. While, about once a year, an automobile-sized asteroid hits Earth's atmosphere, creates an impressive fireball, and burns up before reaching the surface. Every 2,000 years or so, a meteoroid the size of a football field hits Earth and causes significant damage to the area. Only once every few million years, an object large enough to threaten Earth's civilization comes along. Impact craters on Earth, the moon and other planetary bodies are evidence of these occurrences. Space rocks smaller than about 25 meters (about 82 feet) will most likely burn up as they enter the Earth's atmosphere and cause little or no damage. By comparison, asteroids that populate the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and pose no threat to Earth, can be as big as 940 kilometers (about 583 miles) across. (NASA)
    4/5 How is an Asteroid Orbit Calculated? An asteroid's orbit is computed by finding the elliptical path about the sun that best fits the available observations of the object. That is, the object's computed path about the sun is adjusted until the predictions of where the asteroid should have appeared in the sky at several observed times match the positions where the object was actually observed to be at those same times. (Pixabay)
    5/5 What is NASA doing to find and learn more about potentially hazardous asteroids and comets? NASA has established a Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), managed in the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The PDCO ensures the early detection of potentially hazardous objects (PHOs) - asteroids and comets whose orbits are predicted to bring them within 0.05 Astronomical Units of Earth (5 million miles or 8 million kilometers) and of a size large enough to reach Earth's surface - that is, greater than approximately 30 to 50 meters. NASA tracks and characterizes these objects and issues warnings about potential impacts, providing timely and accurate information. NASA also leads the coordination of U.S. Government planning for response to an actual impact threat. (AFP)
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    NASA reports that asteroid 2022 WP8 is headed towards the Earth today, November 30. (Pixabay)

    The last day of November is going to be quite frightful for Earth as a monster asteroid is going to come dangerously close to the Earth, reports NASA. The risk here is that even the slightest redirection for the asteroid can increase the chances of an asteroid strike. And with a massive size of 160-foot, this asteroid can spell a major disaster if it impacted our planet. Even if it is not large enough to be an apocalypse level threat like the dinosaur-killer was tens of millions of year ago, it can easily decimate a city-sized landmass. Read on to know the chances of an asteroid strike.

    Tech NASA uses to monitor space rocks

    While multiple ground-based and satellite telescopes observe the asteroids, it is not possible to manually assess over 20,000 NEOs for a risk of strike. That's why JPL uses a system called Horizons. It is an online solar system data and ephemeris computation service that provides a highly accurate analysis and prediction models for not only NEOs but also 1,239,706 asteroids, 3,829 comets, 211 planetary satellites, 8 planets, the Sun, L1, L2, select spacecraft, and system barycenters.

    Giant asteroid headed for the Earth

    The Planetary Defense of NASA is made up of multiple departments, all of which are tasked with monitoring the Near-Earth Objects (NEO). These departments include Center for Near Earth Objects Studies (CNEOS), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Small-Body database. The cumulative data from these departments has revealed quite a bit about this space rock.

    Significantly, the asteroid now approaching the Earth called 2022 WP8 was first discovered just four days ago on November 26, 2022. This asteroid is likely to come as close as 5.5 million kilometers to the Earth. In terms of astronomical distances, this is an extremely small number and that is why it is the cause of such a big concern. The asteroid is traveling at the speed 30564 kilometers per hour.

    However, the prediction by NASA at the moment is that 2022 WP8 will not strike the Earth even though it will come terrifyingly close to it. It is expected that the asteroid will make a safe passage. Still, various instruments will be monitoring it till it is at a safe distance from us.

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    First Published Date: 30 Nov, 20:31 IST
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