Another day, another asteroid flying by. But is this asteroid different from others? Here’s what NASA says about this dangerous space rock.
Did you know that almost 100 tons of dust particles bombard the earth every day. Once a year, a vehicle-sized asteroid hits Earth’s atmosphere, creating a giant fireball, though it burned up before reaching the surface. According to NASA, an asteroid the size of a football field hits the Earth every 2000 years, causing significant damage to the area. If you’re wondering about planet-killing asteroids, they only come along once every few million years. NASA has warned that an asteroid is headed for Earth and while it may not be a planet-killer, it could still cause damage if it hits Earth.
Asteroid 2022 UQ20 details
NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has issued a warning against an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 UQ20. The 38-foot-wide asteroid is expected to fly past Earth today, Nov. 4, at a distance of 1.1 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way to Earth, traveling at a dizzying speed of 29808 kilometers per hour!
NASA has issued a warning, classifying the asteroid 2022 UQ20 as a “potentially dangerous object” due to its proximity to Earth. While it won’t collide with Earth, a slight deviation in its orbit due to Earth’s gravity could send it toward the planet for an impact.
How is an asteroid’s orbit calculated?
An asteroid’s orbit is calculated by finding the elliptical path around the sun that best fits the available observations of the object using various space and ground telescopes such as NASA’s NEOWISE telescope and the brand-new Sentry II algorithm. That is, the calculated path of the object around the sun is adjusted until the predictions of where the asteroid should have appeared in the sky at different observed times, match the positions where the object was actually observed at that same time.