NASA has warned that a devastating 84 foot wide asteroid is heading dangerously towards Earth today. Will it be a planet killer? Here’s what NASA has to say.
NASA, with the help of its NEOWISE Telescope, has discovered a huge asteroid heading dangerously towards Earth today. This particular asteroid has caused astronomers at the space agencies to worry as it was discovered just a fortnight ago on September 1, 2022. It belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids which are located in the main asteroid belt near Jupiter. Will it prove to be a planet-killer?
Asteroid 2022 RQ heading dangerously for Earth today, September 13
The asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 RQ is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a staggering speed of 49,536 kilometers per hour. NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has warned that Asteroid 2022 RQ is 84 feet wide, nearly the size of an aircraft. The asteroid will make its closest approach to the planet today, September 13 at a distance of nearly 3.7 million kilometers.
The asteroid ‘s farthest point from the Sun is 328 million kilometers, and the nearest point to the Sun is 110 million kilometers. Asteroid 2022 RQ takes 648 days to complete one orbit around the Sun.
How does NASA track these NEOs?
According to NASA, a near-Earth object (NEO) is an asteroid or comet whose orbit brings it within a zone approximately 195 million kilometers from the Sun, meaning that it can pass within about 50 million kilometers of Earth’s orbit. As of now, nearly 28,000 near-Earth asteroids have been discovered using various survey telescopes which track objects in the sky.
NASA JPL’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has recently developed a next-generation asteroid impact monitoring system which has gone online. According to NASA, the new impact monitoring system uses an algorithm called Sentry-II to calculate the impact risk of Near-Earth Objects. NASA JPL also uses a variety of ground-based telescopes in the hunt for these asteroids.