Watch out! NASA spots asteroid heading for Earth; Clocked at 20071 kmph | Tech News

Watch out! NASA spots asteroid heading for Earth; Clocked at 20071 kmph

NASA has issued an alert against this asteroid which is set to pass Earth closely today. Know about its speed, distance of approach.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Nov 15 2022, 09:58 IST
Are near-Earth objects DANGEROUS? Know what NASA says about scary comets, asteroids
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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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Could this asteroid impact Earth? Know what NASA has to say. (Pixabay)

Asteroids have crashed into Earth many times in the past and this can happen again. While most asteroids miss Earth, the danger remains and that is where it becomes important for space agencies like NASA to track each and every flying object that is big enough to worry humanity. That responsibility falls to NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office which keeps an eye on Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) and alerts if there are any signs of a potential impact. Now, the same organization has warned that a huge asteroid is headed for Earth today.

Asteroid 2022 VH2 key details

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office has issued an alert against an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 VH2. The 52 feet wide asteroid is expected to fly past Earth closely today, November 15, at a distance of 3 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a staggering speed of 20071 kilometers per hour. Although this asteroid is not expected to impact Earth any time soon, a slight deviation in its path due to interaction with the planet's gravitational field could change its trajectory and send it hurtling towards the planet with catastrophic consequences.

It belongs to the 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.

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Asteroid - the source of water on Earth?

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that until now, it was believed that water was already present on Earth from earliest times. However, a recent study has made an astonishing discovery that puts this very thought into doubt. The study has revealed that water may have originated on asteroids.

The study was conducted after collecting samples from an asteroid called Ryugu by the Japanese Hayabusa-2 space probe during a 6-year space mission. The probe gathered 5.4 grams of dust and rock samples from the asteroid which scientists used to gather information on the origin of life.

The study said, "Ryugu particles are undoubtedly among the most uncontaminated Solar System materials available for laboratory study and ongoing investigations of these precious samples will certainly expand our understanding of early Solar System processes.”

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First Published Date: 15 Nov, 09:57 IST
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