A 140-foot asteroid could make its close approach towards Earth soon! NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) says.
Although none of these asteroids which zoom past Earth at blistering speeds and close distances actually hit the surface, they are still classified as Potentially Hazardous Objects due to the close proximity by which they make their approach. Now, NASA has warned that another asteroid is approaching the Earth today, November 30. Although scientists at the moment believe that the asteroid will make a safe passage, things can change due to a even slight deflection in the asteroid’s trajectory as a result of interaction with Earth’s gravitational field. Here’s what NASA has revealed about this space rock.
Asteroid 2022 WO7 key details
NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) has warned that the asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 WO7, will make its closest approach to Earth today, November 30, at a distance of 4.9 million kilometers. Now, although the distance might seem a lot, it is relatively a small number in astronomical distances. In fact, the asteroid is already travelling towards Earth, at a blistering speed of 37541 kilometers per hour! It is gigantic in size with a width of nearly 140 feet. This means the asteroid is almost as big as a commercial aircraft!
According to the-sky.org, the Asteroid 2022 WO7 was discovered just four days ago, on November 26. It belongs to the main Apollo group of asteroids, which are a group of Near-Earth asteroids named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s. The Asteroid 2022 WO7 takes just 375 days to orbit the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 160 million kilometers and minimum distance is 145 million kilometers.
Did you know?
Astronomers have spotted three near-Earth asteroids (NEA) hiding in the glare of the Sun.
One of the asteroids is the largest object that is potentially hazardous to Earth to be discovered in the last eight years. A team using the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) mounted on the Victor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope in Chile, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, discovered these asteroids.
This is a notoriously challenging region for observations because asteroid hunters have to contend with the glare of the Sun. By taking advantage of the brief yet favorable observing conditions during twilight, however, the astronomers found this elusive trio.
“So far we have found two large near-Earth asteroids that are about 1 kilometer across, a size that we call planet killers,” said Scott S. Sheppard, an astronomer at the Earth and Planets Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution for Science.