Will this massive asteroid, which will come close to Earth today, collide with it? Know what NASA said.
NASA expects at least 5 dangerous asteroids to fly past Earth this week. Most asteroids are found in a ring between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, the asteroid belt. These celestial bodies are the remnants of the period when our solar system was formed, more than 4.6 billion years ago. Asteroids regularly fly past Earth at safe distances, although NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office still classifies them as potentially dangerous objects due to their proximity to Earth using its WISE telescope.
NASA has warned that at least 5 asteroids are expected to come close to Earth this week. Learn about one of these asteroids, named Asteroid 2022 QJ50, which will fly close to Earth today.
Asteroid 2022 QJ50 hurtles towards Earth today, September 19th
NASA has warned that a giant 110-foot-wide asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 QJ50, is hurtling toward Earth. The asteroid will come closest to Earth today, September 19, at a distance of 4.2 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way to Earth at a dizzying speed of 36,684 kilometers per hour.
Asteroid 2022 QJ50 is a bit different from other asteroids that have recently come close to Earth as it belongs to the Aten group of asteroids. The asteroid takes 334 days to complete one orbit around the sun. During this orbit, the asteroid’s maximum distance from the sun is 190 million kilometers, while at its closest point it approaches a whopping 91 million kilometers.
Did you know?
Most asteroids are observed using the NEOWISE project, which repurposed NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer to act as a research telescope and scan the sky for Near-Earth Objects. NASA then uses its ground radar to collect accurate data about the asteroid’s path and its characteristics.
NASA can track the asteroid’s orbital path using this infrared data and can even predict its orbit in the future. To date, nearly 28,000 near-Earth asteroids have been discovered using various research telescopes that track objects in the sky.