Beware! This 95-foot asteroid zooming towards Earth today! NASA has issued a warning.
Did you know that space is full of humongous celestial objects, out of which only a few have been discovered so far? Asteroids are some of these objects. They are rocky, airless remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago, according to NASA. Most of them can be found orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter within the main asteroid belt. Although they are found millions of light years away, they occasionally make a close trip to Earth. Now, NASA has warned that another asteroid is on its way towards Earth today.
Asteroid 2022 UD28 details
NASA has issued an alert about an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 UD28 which is headed straight for Earth today, November 16. According to the space agency, this 95 feet wide asteroid will make its closest approach to the planet today at a distance of 4.2 million kilometers. It is hurtling towards Earth at a staggering speed of 41507 kilometers per hour, which is nearly three times the speed of a hypersonic ballistic missile!
NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office keeps a check on these Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) for any potential collision with Earth and declares them as Potentially Hazardous Objects if they come within around 8 million kilometers of Earth.
According to the-sky.org, the Asteroid 2022 UD28 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids.
Worryingly, it was discovered as recently as on October 24. This asteroid takes 1573 days to complete one trip around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 652 million kilometers and nearest distance is 140 million kilometers.
How is an Asteroid Orbit Calculated?
An asteroid’s orbit is computed by finding the elliptical path about the sun that best fits the available observations of the object using various space and ground-based telescopes such as NASA’s NEOWISE telescope and its brand-new Sentry II algorithm. That is, the object’s computed path about the sun is adjusted until the predictions of where the asteroid should have appeared in the sky at several observed times match the positions where the object was actually observed to be at those same time.