A huge asteroid will come terrifyingly close to Earth today in a close encounter. This asteroid has NASA on its guard. Will there be an asteroid collision with Earth?
Amazingly, asteroids are rocky remnants of the early formation of our solar system, about 4.6 billion years ago. They come in all shapes and sizes, with the largest asteroid measuring 530 kilometers in diameter, called Vesta. Asteroids can hit Earth, wreaking havoc on both life and property, with the most recent incident being the Chelyabinsk disaster when the space rock entered Earth’s atmosphere over the southern Urals in Russia on February 15, 2013, causing damage worth nearly $33 million. But will this emerging asteroid impact the planet and cause damage to life or limbs? All this information is calculated live through various technologies used by NASA and that’s where we learn more about it.
Asteroid 2022 SC1 hurtles past Earth today, September 20th
An 80-foot-wide asteroid called Asteroid 2022 SC1 is expected to zoom past Earth tomorrow, August 31. The asteroid is already on its way to Earth, traveling at a dizzying speed of 36,936 kilometers per hour. The asteroid 2022 SC1 is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today, September 20, at a distance of 5.5 million kilometers. Remarkably, after today, this asteroid is not expected to make another close approach to Earth until the next century!
While this asteroid isn’t expected to collide with Earth, a slight deviation in its orbit due to Earth’s gravity, or some other reason, could send the asteroid hurtling toward Earth and a collision could ensue. Though not to worry, since NASA already has a plan in place to participate in planetary defense against rogue asteroids, the DART mission.
NASA DART mission – All about the technology
A NASA mission is in the works to divert an asteroid from its collision course with Earth by hitting a simple yet technologically awesome spacecraft at it at a dizzying speed of 23,000 km/h. In fact, the technology has turned the spacecraft not only into a satellite that transmits data, but also into a destructive rocket. The mission is called Double Asteroid Detection Test or DART. Double Asteroid Detection Test or DART Mission is a $240 million mission from NASA to protect Earth from a potential asteroid impact.
The camera on the spacecraft is a marvel in itself. NASA’s Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO) took pictures of the target asteroid in July using 243 composite images.
In particular, after the collision, another specialized and technical spacecraft, the European Space Agency’s Hera spacecraft, will fly to the asteroid to assess the impact of the impact and collect information such as the size of the impact crater, the mass of the asteroid and its composition and internal structure using its CubeSAT satellite to guide a radar probe of the asteroid.