Terrifying asteroid to come as close as 78500 km to Earth today

    This asteroid will pass Earth at an extremely close distance! NASA has revealed important info about this space rock. Here's what you need to know.

    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Nov 28 2022, 07:03 IST
    Are near-Earth objects DANGEROUS? Know what NASA says about scary comets, asteroids
    Asteroid and Earth
    1/5 Earth has objects near it, which sometimes get attracted towards the planet because of its gravitational pull. Of course, not every near-Earth object manages to reach the surface of the planet. The object needs to be large enough to survive its fiery journey through the atmosphere of the Earth. (Pixabay)
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    2/5 What is a near-Earth object? Asteroids or comets that can pass within 30 million miles or 50 million kilometers of Earth's orbit are known as near-Earth objects or NEO. According to NASA, "A near-Earth object (NEO) is an asteroid or comet whose orbit brings it within a zone approximately 121 million miles (195 million kilometers) from the Sun, meaning that it can pass within about 30 million miles (50 million kilometers) of Earth’s orbit." (Pixabay)
    3/5 NASA further informed that the vast majority of NEOs that enter Earth’s atmosphere disintegrate before reaching the surface (and more than 100 tons of dust particles disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere daily). Those NEOs that are larger than around 98 to 164 feet (30 to 50 meters) in size could cause widespread damage in and around their impact sites. Apart from NEOs, there is another category that NASA uses. These are the potentially hazardous objects (PHO). These are near-Earth objects whose orbit brings them within 4.7 million miles (7.5 million km) of Earth’s orbit, or is greater than 500 feet (140 meters) in size. (Pixabay)
    4/5 The highest risk of impact for a known asteroid is a 1 in 714 chance of impact by an asteroid designated 2009 FD in 2185. This means that the possibility that it could impact then is less than 0.2 percent. NASA said, "One asteroid that NASA is studying up close, called Bennu, has a 1/2700 chance of impacting Earth between 2175 and 2195. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will complete a 2-year investigation of Bennu before plucking a sample of asteroid material off its surface and delivering it back to Earth." (Pixabay)
    5/5 How can we prevent an asteroid from hitting Earth? Currently, an asteroid impact is the only natural disaster that NASA might be able to prevent. There are a few methods that NASA is studying to deflect an asteroid on a course to impact Earth. One of these techniques is called a gravity tractor—it involves a spacecraft that would rendezvous with an asteroid (but not land on its surface) and maintain its relative, optimal position to use the mutual gravity attraction between the satellite and the asteroid to slowly alter the course of the asteroid. (Pixabay)
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    NASA has warned of an extremely close approach by this asteroid today. (NASA)

    Asteroids often make close trips to Earth but pass the planet at just enough distance to not cause any harm. Astonishingly, astronomers have spotted three near-Earth asteroids (NEA) hiding in the glare of the Sun. One of the asteroids is the largest object that is potentially hazardous to Earth to be discovered in the last eight years. This is a notoriously challenging region for observations because asteroid hunters have to contend with the glare of the Sun. NASA has also warned that one potentially hazardous asteroid is on its way towards Earth today, and it will pass by extremely closely! Here's what the space agency said.

    Asteroid 2022 WM7 key details

    NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office has warned that the asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 WM7, will make its closest approach to Earth today, November 28, at a distance of just 78500 kilometers! For reference, the Moon is nearly 320,000 kilometers away from Earth.

    That means this asteroid will pass Earth at a distance that is even closer than the Moon! It will be one of the closest asteroid approaches we've had all year. In fact, the asteroid is already travelling towards Earth, at a blistering speed of 41686 kilometers per hour.

    It belongs to the main Apollo group of asteroids, which are a group of Near-Earth asteroids named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.

    Did you know?

    In the midst of all the close asteroid flybys, NASA has now revealed that an asteroid struck the Earth just days ago! NASA keeps a watch on these asteroids by studying data collected by various space and ground-based telescopes and observatories such as the Pan-STARRS, the Catalina Sky Survey and the NEOWISE telescope. However, this asteroid was seemingly missed by all of them and was discovered just hours before impact!

    NASA has revealed that a tiny asteroid lit up the sky as it flew over Southern Ontario, Canada on Saturday, November 19. What's shocking is that this 3-foot asteroid was detected just 3.5 hours before impact! According to NASA, the asteroid is likely to have burned up upon entering the planet's atmosphere and scattered small meteorites over the southern coastline of Lake Ontario.

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    First Published Date: 28 Nov, 07:03 IST
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