Science

76-foot asteroid rushing towards Earth today, says NASA, reveals key details

A 76-foot asteroid could make a close trip to Earth today and NASA has revealed the asteroid’s key details.

Earth was witness to numerous asteroid flybys last year and it seems the trend is all set to continue in 2023. NASA has warned that as many as 5 asteroids are all set to make their close approaches towards Earth in a single day, which happens to be today, January 2. Although none of these 5 space rocks are expected to impact Earth’s surface, they have still been classified as Potentially Hazardous Objects by NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office which acts as a watchdog against potential asteroid threats. One of them is an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 YU3.

Asteroid 2022 YU3 key details

NASA has warned that an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 YU3 is headed for Earth and is expected to fly closely past the planet today, January 2. It will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of just 3.7 million kilometers. NASA says it is already on its way towards Earth, traveling at a staggering speed of 25682 kilometers per hour, which is nearly twice as fast as a hypersonic ballistic missile!

According to NASA, the Asteroid 2022 YU3 is 76 feet in width, which is the size of an aircraft! It 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.

Did you know?

In research published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, MIT scientists have developed a new method to study the internal structure of asteroids based on how its spin changes when it makes a close approach with a huge celestial object, like a planet. This will help in understanding the internal structure of the asteroid as well as the weight distribution, which could help in future DART Missions.

The team of MIT scientists look to apply this research on a Near-Earth Asteroid named Apophis. Although this asteroid is not expected to impact Earth anytime soon, a slight deviation in its trajectory could send it hurtling towards the planet.


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