Thrilling encounter: Asteroid 2022 QT7 to zoom past Earth today
An asteroid is a small, rocky object and when seen in a telescope, it appears as a point of light, according to NASA. Asteroids are loose space missiles, which, if they crash into something, can be immensely destructive. Most asteroids are found in a ring between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter called the asteroid belt. These celestial objects are the remains of the period during which our solar system formed, over 4.6 billion years ago. Asteroids come in all shapes and sizes, with the largest being nearly 530 kilometers in diameter called Vesta. Others are smaller at around 100 feet and even less. Earth is being bombarded with asteroids this year. August alone has seen more than 40 asteroids passing by Earth closely. Now, the first asteroid of September is already on its way.
Asteroid 2022 QT7 to zoom past Earth
A 110-foot asteroid named Asteroid 2022 QT7 is expected to fly past Earth today, September 1. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a staggering speed of 27,288 kilometers per hour. Nasa has issued a warning classifying the Asteroid 2022 QT7 as a “Potentially Hazardous Object” due to the close proximity with which it will pass by Earth. Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) which pass by Earth within 8 million kilometers of the planet are classified as potentially hazardous objects. Although they don't collide with Earth, a slight deviation in their trajectory due to the Earth's gravitational pull can send them towards Earth for an impact
The Asteroid 2022 QT7 is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today, September 1, at a distance of just 470,000 kilometers. That makes it one of the closest asteroids to pass by Earth this year.
NASA to try Artemis 1 launch again tomorrow
Meanwhile, in another space news, Nasa postponed the launch of the Artemis 1 mission, which was to blast off on August 29, due to a malfunction in one of the four RS-25 engines of the new Space Launch System (SLS). The mission was scheduled for launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. However, a malfunction in one of the engines of the SLS caused engine 3 to bleed less, therefore delaying the launch. The launch was ultimately scrubbed for a later date. Nasa is expected to attempt another launch at 12:48pm EDT tomorrow, September 2.