This speedy asteroid could make its way towards Earth as soon as today! Check out what NASA says about this space rock.
After a number of asteroids passed very close to Earth earlier this week, another dangerous space rock could pass by today as we move into the new week. Asteroids have been responsible for some of the biggest events in history. From the Chelyabinsk disaster that claimed many lives to the meteor which caused the extinction of dinosaurs millions of years ago, whenever asteroids have crashed on Earth, they have impacted lives.
NASA keeps a watch on these asteroids by studying data collected by various telescopes and observatories such as the Pan-STARRS, the Catalina Sky Survey and the NEOWISE telescope. While some of this tech is in the sky, other is Earth-based.
Asteroid 2022 WD details
NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has issued an alert against an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 WD. The 52-foot asteroid is expected to fly past Earth closely today, November 21, at a distance of 4.2 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a staggering speed of 23852 kilometers per hour. Although this asteroid is not expected to impact Earth, a slight deviation in its path due to interaction with the planet’s gravitational field could change its trajectory with catastrophic consequences.
According to NASA, the Asteroid 2022 WD belongs to the 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.
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).