Look after! An asteroid is heading toward Earth at an astonishing speed today. Know what NASA says about this space rock.
Asteroids have been flying close to Earth all year round. Nearly 40 asteroids passed by last month alone, and October will follow the trend as more than 7 asteroids have already passed close by. NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has classified all of these asteroids as “Potentially Hazardous Objects” due to the proximity with which they pass Earth. Now, another one is on its way to Earth today.
Asteroid 2022 SM21 details
According to NASA, asteroid 2022 SM21 is already on its way to the planet, traveling at a dizzying speed of 54216 kilometers per hour. The asteroid will come closest to Earth today, October 4, at a distance of just 1.86 million kilometers.
According to theskylive.com, asteroid 2022 SM21 is currently 1.89 million kilometers from Earth, which is equivalent to 0.012636 astronomical units. Light takes 6.3053 seconds to travel from asteroid 2022 SM21 and arrive at us. An astronomical unit (AU, or au) is basically a unit of length equal to the mean or average distance between the Earth and the Sun, i.e. 149,597,870.7 kilometers.
NASA currently has a NEO observation program to track and characterize at least 90 percent of NEOs that are 140 meters or larger. 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 JPL also uses a variety of ground-based telescopes to hunt for these asteroids.
Did an asteroid terraform Mars?
According to a research paper recently published in the Geophysical Research Letters by Stephen Mojzsis and Ramon Brasser, a celestial body the size of the dwarf planet Ceres collided with Mars and erupted part of the Northern Hemisphere, leaving behind a deposit of rich minerals. . The debris left behind after the collision slowly came together to form the two moons – Phobos and Deimos. According to the study, the rich minerals account for 0.8 percent of Mars.