This scary asteroid is speeding towards Earth today! What does NASA have to say?

Yet another asteroid is on its way towards Earth travelling at staggering speeds! Is the asteroid a planet killer? Know what NASA has to say about this asteroid.

| Updated on: Sep 12 2022, 10:21 IST
Asteroid fun facts in pics: NASA reveals all you need to know
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 has warned of an asteroid which is speeding towards the planet today. Know what the space agency said. (Pixabay)

Asteroids have been flying closely past the planet all year. Last month alone witnessed nearly 40 asteroids passing by and September is set to follow the trend more than a dozen asteroids have already passed by Earth closely. However, all these asteroids are relatively small in size with a width of a couple of hundred feet. Still, NASA' Planetary Defense Coordination Office has classified all these asteroids as “Potentially Hazardous Objects” due to the close proximity with which they pass by Earth. Now, another one is on its way towards Earth today.

Asteroid 2022 RJ2 to zoom past Earth today, September 12

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office has warned that Asteroid 2022 RJ2 is 45 feet wide, nearly the size of a house.

it is already on its way towards Earth travelling at a blistering speed of 57,096 and will just miss the planet today! Although it will not collide with Earth, a slight deviation in its trajectory due to the Earth's gravitational pull can send it towards Earth for an impact. It will make its closest approach to Earth today at a distance of just 1.17 million kilometers.

According to, the Asteroid 2022 RJ2 was discovered very recently on September 3, 2022 and belongs to the main Apollo group of asteroids. Asteroid 2022 RJ2 takes 867 days to complete one orbit around the Sun.

The asteroid's farthest point from the Sun is 425 million kilometers, and the nearest point to the Sun is 107 million kilometers.

Bennu asteroid studied by OSIRIS-REx spacecraft! Will it impact Earth?

NASA JPL has been observing an asteroid named Bennu which orbits the sun every 1.2 years and makes a relatively close approach to Earth about every six years. The space agency has mapped the trajectory of the Bennu asteroid, which as a diameter of nearly 1,614 feet, using the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft up to the year 2135 using 29 radar observations and 478 optical observations of the asteroid, conducted by trackers around the world between September 1999 and January 2011.

According to NASA JPL, the close approach with Earth in the year 2135 will change the asteroid's trajectory a little and could potentially result in an Earth impact between 2175 and 2199.

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First Published Date: 12 Sep, 10:21 IST