Terrifying 260-foot asteroid hurtling towards Earth tomorrow, NASA warns

NASA has warned that a massive 260-foot wide Asteroid 2022 RW will make its closest approach to Earth on September 5. Does this terrifyingly big asteroid pose any danger? Know here.

| Updated on: Sep 04 2022, 19:35 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)
Asteroid and Earth
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A gigantic asteroid 2022 RW will zoom past Earth tomorrow, NASA warned. (Pixabay)

NASA has warned that a gigantic 260-foot wide asteroid will pass by the Earth tomorrow, on September 5. The space agency keeps a constant eye on all the upcoming asteroids that may pose a threat to the Earth. According to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, this terrifying Near-Earth object has been named Asteroid 2022 RW which is estimated to be up to 260-foot (79 mtr) in diameter. According to the report, it will make its closest approach to Earth at 6.98 million miles and it will be travelling at a mind-numbing speed of 11.20 km per second. Will this asteroid hit us? Does it pose any threat to the Earth? Here's what NASA experts say.

Asteroid 2022 RW to make close approach towards Earth

While looking at the massive size of the asteroid, it can definitely cause huge damage if it hits the Earth. However, it is only possible if it deviates from its orbital path, which is a rare chance. Moreover, the good news is the estimated close approach distance between the asteroid and Earth is not too near even though NASA is expected to keep tracking it in case of any deviation from its path for any reason.

According to NASA, an asteroid which approaches the Earth within 4.6 million miles (7.5 million kilometers) and has size larger than about 150 meters (more than 492-foot), is termed a potentially hazardous object. Hence, Asteroid 2022 RW with a 260-foot diameter is not a potential threat to the Earth. Having said that, even a 260-foot asteroid can do great damage on Earth if it were to collide, especially in crowded places like cities.

However, there are several other asteroids that are hurtling towards the Earth in the coming days. An 82-foot wide asteroid is set to make its close approach tomorrow. And how close will it come to Earth? Just 3.52 million miles.

Another asteroid 2022 QU5, which is 97-foot wide, will get as close as 4.57 million miles.

Asteroid FACTS

Do you know that asteroids are also called planetoids? These rocky rubbles revolving around the sun are too small to be called planets, hence, these can be known as planetoids or minor planets too. However, despite this, these space monster rocks can be dangerous to Earth, just like the Chicxulub asteroid, which ended the era of dinosaurs.

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First Published Date: 04 Sep, 19:35 IST