Could this asteroid pose any risk to the Earth? Here’s what NASA says about this dangerous space rock.
NASA says that nearly 100 tons of dust-sized space particles bombard Earth every day. A vehicle-sized asteroid hits Earth’s atmosphere once every year, creating a giant fireball although it burns up before reaching the planet’s surface. According to NASA, every 2000 years, an asteroid the size of a football field hits Earth and causes significant damage to the area. NASA studies these space rocks with the help of its space and ground-based telescopes such as the NEOWISE telescope. If you’re thinking about planet-killing asteroids, they only come along only once every few million years. Although it might not be a planet killer, NASA has warned that a dangerous asteroid is hurtling towards Earth today.
Asteroid 2022 WH2 details
NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has issued an alert against an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 WH2. The speedy asteroid is expected to fly past Earth closely today, November 24, at a distance of 4.8 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a staggering speed of 24843 kilometers per hour!
NASA’s PDCO has issued a warning classifying the Asteroid 2022 WH2 as a “Potentially Hazardous Object” due to the close proximity with which it will pass by Earth. Although it will not collide with Earth, a slight deviation in its trajectory due to the Earth’s gravitational pull can send it towards the planet for an impact.
Did you know?
In research published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, MIT scientists have developed a new method to study the internal structure of the space rock based on how the spin of the asteroid changes when it makes a close approach with a huge celestial object, like a planet. This will help in understanding the internal structure of the asteroid as well as the weight distribution, which could help in future DART Missions.
The team of MIT scientists look to apply this research on a Near-Earth Asteroid named Apophis. Although this asteroid is not expected to impact Earth anytime soon, a slight deviation in its trajectory could send it hurtling towards the planet.