This 150-foot asteroid heading towards Earth tomorrow! To travel at dangerous speeds of 30,420 kmph

A 150 feet wide asteroid named Asteroid 2022 QO31 will just miss Earth tomorrow at extremely close distance. Here's what NASA has to say about Asteroid 2022 QO31.

| Updated on: Sep 02 2022, 11:20 IST
What is an Asteroid? NASA defines what these dangerous objects in sky are
1/5 An asteroid is a small, rocky object hurtling through the sky. When seen in a telescope, an asteroid appears as a point of light, according to NASA. Most asteroids are found in a ring between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter called the asteroid belt. (Pixabay)
2/5 Asteroids have several shapes, they may be spherical, elongated, or oddly shaped. Some asteroids even have their own satellites! Asteroids also vary in size. From Vesta, the largest at about 530 kilometers in diameter, to asteroids that are less than 10 meters in diameter, they can be found in all shapes and sizes. (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroids are also called minor planets. These celestial objects are the remains of the period during which our solar system formed, over 4.6 billion years ago. According to NASA, the current known asteroid count is 1,113,527. (HT_PRINT)
4/5 Asteroids can potentially threaten life on Earth. Apocalyptic movies like Deep Impact, Armageddon and Don't Look Up have always explored the ‘What Ifs’ of world destruction, with the most famous means of world destruction being asteroids crashing into Earth. (Pixabay)
5/5 To counter this, NASA had readied itself to potentially defend the planet against a very similar threat that is posed by asteroids by preparing the DART mission. It involves smashing a spacecraft into an oncoming asteroid at a speed of nearly 23,000kph. This knowledge will be used if an actual asteroid threatens to crash against the Earth. It will help avert an Armageddon on Earth and perhaps, even save humanity from extinction. (NASA)
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Asteroid 2022 QO31 which will pass by Earth closely tomorrow is nearly the size of a commercial aircraft. (Pixabay)

A 150 feet wide asteroid named Asteroid 2022 QO31, nearly the size of a large commercial aircraft, will just miss Earth tomorrow according to NASA. Although it is safe to say that people on Earth will remain unharmed as it passes by Earth at a safe distance, it still has caused a panic among the space agencies due to the extremely close distance with which it will pass by Earth. Asteroid 2022 QO31 is different from previous asteroids that have flown past Earth recently as it does not belong to the Apollo group of asteroids but the Aten group. The asteroid orbits around the Sun, taking almost 295 days to complete 1 orbit.

The Asteroid 2022 QO31 will just miss Earth on September 3, which is tomorrow at a distance of 5.35 million kilometers at a staggering speed of 30,420 kilometers per hour. This asteroid does not pose any viable threat to Earth and will pass the planet safely though it was still classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid due to the close proximity of its encounter with Earth.

Who monitors the skies for Near-Earth Objects?

More and more asteroids have been flying past Earth albeit at a safe distance. NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office monitors the skies with telescopes and keeps track of upcoming near-Earth object (NEO) flybys. With the help of advanced telescopes, more than 750,000 asteroids have been discovered to date, of which more than 27,000 are near-Earth asteroids.

Current trajectory of Asteroid 2022 QO31. (NASA)
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Current trajectory of Asteroid 2022 QO31. (NASA)

NASA's plan to destroy International Space Station

Earlier this year, NASA had confirmed plans to destroy the International Space Station after nearly 25 years of service. The ISS will be destroyed in less than 10 years in a planned manner.

According to NASA's plan, a “wrecking ball” vehicle will dock with the ISS until it reaches within almost 220 kilometers of Earth's orbit. The ISS will then be propelled in an elliptical orbit within 50 kilometers of Earth's atmosphere using the planet's natural drag as much as possible at which point, it will start burning up due to the atmospheric friction. According to NASA, the goal of the mission is safe re-entry of the space station's structure into an unpopulated area in the ocean.

NASA expects some pieces of the space station to fall on land. However, the agency has already taken it into account, stating that the impact caused by this would be minimal.

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First Published Date: 02 Sep, 11:20 IST