NASA has alerted another asteroid 2022 OC4 will fly past the planet on Tuesday that might also come dangerously close to it. Although it is not as large as the previous three that went past the Earth, it will come much closer to Earth than them.
Last week, a 700-feet wide potentially hazardous asteroid zoomed past our planet. And days before that, a couple of asteroids of the size of 400 and 600 feet narrowly missed the Earth. And now, the fear of impact continues as another asteroid is expected to fly very close to us. While it is not as large as the previous three, with a rough estimate of about 36 feet, it will be coming much closer to the Earth than the three space rocks.
According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of NASA, The asteroid 2022 OC4, which is about 36-foot-wide, is likely to come within 1.5 million kilometres of Earth. When compared to the distance that we travel, it might seem quite far, but the reality is, that no asteroid has come this close to Earth in recent months (other than those that have made an impact).
Even though scientists are on alert and are constantly monitoring its movement to see whether it can cause severe damage, the prediction models say that the asteroid should safely pass through our planet. The asteroid 2022 OC4 was first spotted on 28 July.
The asteroid, as large as a bus, is approaching the Earth
NASA’s Small-body Database classified the asteroid under the Apollo group of asteroids. Apollo asteroids are any such asteroids whose orbital size is larger than that of Earth, but whose perihelion (the position on the orbit that is closest to the Sun) is closer than that of Earth. A near-Earth object has an elliptical orbit, where its perihelion is between Earth and Venus, and its aphelion (the farthest position in the orbit from the Sun) is between Mars and Jupiter.
According to NASA’s prediction models, if it doesn’t deviate from its path, it will make a safe passage. But that may be temporary relief, as the same asteroid will come much closer to Earth in 2032.
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