NASA has warned that an asteroid as big as a house is speeding towards Earth today. Will this huge space rock impact?
In the midst of all the asteroid flybys in the past few months, NASA has now warned that another space rock is heading speedily straight towards an Earth rendesvouz. The asteroid is potentially hazardous and possesses the capability of causing a major catastrophe. Worryingly, this asteroid was discovered just a week ago on November 16. What adds to the worry is its sheer size and the speed at which it is rapidly speeding towards Earth. Know its details here, as per NASA.
Asteroid 2022 WO key details
NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has issued an alert against an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 WO. The asteroid, with a size ranging anywhere between 52 feet and 114 feet, is expected to fly past Earth today, November 24, but at an extremely close distance. This hurtling space rock will make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of just 3.9 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a blistering speed of 30361 kilometers per hour.
According to the-sky.org, Asteroid 2022 WO was discovered nearly a week ago, on November 16. It belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids and orbits the Sun in around 859 days. During this orbit, the asteroid’s farthest point from the Sun is at a distance of 389 million kilometers and its nearest point is 140 million kilometers.
NASA conducts surveys done using its ground-based telescopes such as the Pans-STARRS1 in Maui, Hawaii, as well to identify thousands of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). As of now, nearly 28,000 near-Earth asteroids have been discovered using various survey telescopes which track objects in the sky.
Dinosaur-killing asteroid impact
Dinosaurs which roamed the Earth millions of years ago were wiped out because of an asteroid. Now, scientists have located the place of impact of the asteroid which caused an extinction-level event. The dinosaur killing asteroid was between 10.6 and 80.9 km in diameter and crashed on Earth near the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico more than 65 million years ago.
This asteroid terraformed the Earth suitable for the emergence of humans. The impact would’ve caused the formation of huge tidal waves and an impact crater almost 140KM wide. Further, it would’ve caused the land material to splatter into space, changing the Earth’s environment into nuclear winter-like conditions.