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.
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.
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.