An alert has been issued against a speeding asteroid by NASA which is set for close approach with Earth today. Know its speed, distance and more.
Did you know that no less than 4 asteroids made close approaches to Earth yesterday! Now NASA has warned that another one is on its way, and it is a big one. This asteroid has huge destructive potential due to its sheer size and speed. To track such asteroids, NASA uses its repurposed NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer to work as a survey telescope and scan the sky for Near-Earth Objects. The space agency also uses its ground-based radar to gather precise data about the asteroid’s path and its characteristics.
Asteroid 2022 WS9 key details
NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has issued an alert against an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 WS9. The 110-foot wide asteroid, which is as big as a commercial aircraft, is expected to fly past Earth today, December 1, at a distance of 1.7 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a staggering speed of 65235 kilometers per hour, which is much faster than a missile!
According to the-sky.org, the Asteroid 2022 WS9 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. It was discovered just days ago on November 28. This asteroid takes 1655 days to complete one trip around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 693 million kilometers and nearest distance is 126 million kilometers.
NASA’s programme to observe and categorize asteroids
NASA has established a Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), managed in the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The PDCO ensures the early detection of potentially hazardous objects (PHOs) – asteroids and comets whose orbits are predicted to bring them within 0.05 Astronomical Units of Earth (5 million miles or 8 million kilometers) and of a size large enough to reach Earth’s surface – that is, greater than approximately 30 to 50 meters.