Another asteroid zoomed past Earth today! Know what NASA said.
Now that NASA has successfully conducted its first planetary defense test against rogue asteroids hurtling toward Earth and sparking fear, the world can breathe a sigh of relief. However, NASA isn’t done yet. NASA and other agencies will study the DART data in the coming weeks to determine the details of the asteroid deflection, which will provide more knowledge about what happens when a spacecraft crashes into a space rock. But until then, we’re still not safe from asteroids, and one flew past Earth today.
Asteroid 2022 SZ
NASA has warned that a massive asteroid called Asteroid 2022 SZ has just flown past the planet. The asteroid approached Earth in the early hours of today, September 29, at a distance of 5.2 million kilometers. It flew past the planet at a dizzying speed of 25,200 kilometers per hour.
According to the-sky.org, Asteroid 2022 SZ belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. The asteroid takes 463 days to complete one orbit around the sun, with the maximum distance from the sun being 221 million kilometers and the nearest being 130 million kilometers.
In recent months, there has been a sudden increase in the frequency of asteroids flying by.
Tech involved in the DART mission
Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO) along with Small-body Maneuver Autonomous Real Time Navigation (SMART Nav) algorithms aboard the DART spacecraft enabled it to distinguish between the larger Didymos and its target Dimorphos, hitting the asteroid with precision, according to NASA.
NASA’s first planetary defense attempt was captured by cameras from a small companion satellite called cubeSAT LICIACube (Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging Asteroids). The cubeSAT consists of two major components, LUKE (LICIACube Unit Key Explorer) and LEIA (LICIACube Explorer Imaging for Asteroid), both of which capture important data from the collision.