NASA has warned that a giant asteroid is headed dangerously towards Earth today! Will it affect the planet?
Space is full of celestial objects, of which only a few have been discovered. Asteroids are some of these objects. If you’re not aware of dangerous objects called asteroids, know that asteroids are airless, rocky remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago, according to NASA. Most of them can be found orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter within the main asteroid belt. Although they are millions of light-years away, they occasionally make a close trip to Earth. Now, NASA has warned that another asteroid is on its way.
Details of asteroid 2022 RA5
NASA has issued an alert about an asteroid called Asteroid 2022 RA5 heading directly for Earth today, October 12. According to NASA, the 120-foot-wide asteroid will make its closest approach to the planet today at a distance of 5.02 million kilometers. It hurtles toward Earth at an astounding speed of 11,000 miles per hour, almost equaling the speed of a hypersonic ballistic missile!
NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office monitors these near-Earth objects (NEOs) for any possible collisions with Earth and declares them as potentially hazardous objects if they are within about 8 million kilometers of Earth.
According to the-sky.org, asteroid 2022 RA5 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. It was recently discovered on September 14. This asteroid takes 594 days to complete a trip around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 268 million kilometers and the closest distance is 146 million kilometers.
Was NASA’s DART mission a success?
NASA has revealed that its first planetary defense test, called the Double Asteroid Deflection Test, or DART, succeeded in deflecting an asteroid from its path. The space agency reached this conclusion after careful analysis of data obtained from the collision over the past two weeks. This test is a huge victory for space agencies and a major milestone in trying to protect the planet against asteroids that could end the world.