NASA has warned that a huge 69-foot asteroid is speeding towards the planet today. Could there be a chance of impact?
Asteroids come in all shapes and sizes, with the largest being nearly 530 kilometers in diameter called Vesta! Others are smaller at around 100 feet and even less. Although NASA scientists estimate that an asteroid would have to be about 96 km wide to completely and utterly destroy life on Earth, smaller asteroids also have the potential to cause damage up to some extent. Unlike bigger asteroids which rarely stray towards Earth, smaller space rocks frequently fly past the planet at close distances. Now, NASA has warned that another asteroid is on its way.
Asteroid 2022 WA6 details
NASA has warned that Asteroid 2022 WA6 is on its way towards Earth travelling at a staggering speed of 49897 kilometers per hour. It will make its closest approach to the planet today, December 6, at a distance of 1.6 million kilometers. According to NASA, Asteroid 2022 WA6 is huge in size and is nearly as big as an aircraft, with a width of 69 feet!
According to the-sky.org, Asteroid 2022 WA6 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids and was discovered recently on November 24. This asteroid takes 992 days to complete one trip around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 460 million kilometers and nearest distance is 123 million kilometers.
Asteroid fun facts
1. Most of the asteroids can be found in a specific region in space. It is called the asteroid belt – a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
2. Asteroids are usually made up of rocks, but they can also be made of metals such as nickel and iron, or even clay!
3. More than 150 asteroids are known to have a small companion moon, or even two moons!
4. Asteroids were considered as planets until the middle of the 19th century!
5. An asteroid was responsible for triggering the extinction of dinosaurs when it crashed on Earth near the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico more than 65 million years ago.