A small but potentially hazardous asteroid is zooming towards the Earth today. Here’s what NASA said.
NASA says a potentially hazardous asteroid is all set to make its closest approach to Earth today! The asteroid measures just 34 feet in diameter, NASA’s JPL confirmed. Still, it has been dubbed as being potentially hazardous for Earth and the reason lies in its worryingly close approach. NASA’s Planetary Defence Coordination Office has red-flagged Asteroid 2022 TR due to its close proximity to Earth.
To determine the potential threat from an asteroid or near-Earth object, NASA keeps a close eye on all the upcoming objects such as asteroids and comets. NASA’s Asteroid Watch dashboard says the asteroid will approach to within 4.6 million miles or 7.5 million kilometers to Earth. It is 19.5 times the distance to the moon. It is also moving at an astonishing pace- a velocity of 11.65 km per second (41930 kmph).
Not just this one, you should know that another huge 130-foot wide asteroid named 2022 SU21, just passed the Earth today. It made its closest approach towards Earth at a distance of 7.61 million miles.
How NASA plans to keep the Earth safe from these asteroids
NASA successfully tested its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission spacecraft strike on a non-hazardous asteroid called Dimorphos in order to test planetary defence. The learnings from this asteroid attack will be used to protect Earth from asteroids that are heading for a collision with our planet. According to NASA, this is the world’s first mission to deflect an asteroid in space.
How NASA tracks these asteroids
Some of the best technologies of NASA help to track these dangerous asteroids. While using optical and radio telescopes, NASA determines the size, shape, rotation, and physical composition of these asteroids. Moreover, with the help of planetary radar, performed by radio telescopes at NASA’s Deep Space Network and the National Science Foundation’s Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, detailed characterization data of the asteroids are possible.