Asteroid Watch: Huge 100-ft asteroid could fly terrifyingly close to Earth!

A huge 100 feet wide asteroid named 2022 SA1 is expected to fly terrifyingly close to Earth today, says NASA.

NASA ‘Planetary Defense Coordination Office has red flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 SA1 which is expected to fly past Earth at an extremely close distance. According to NASAthe asteroid will pass Earth at a distance of just 7.1 million kilometers from the Earth today, on September 21.

The Asteroid 2022 SA1 has been red flagged by NASA even though it is not heading for an impact with Earth. It was classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object due to the close proximity it will pass by Earth. Asteroids which come closer than 8 million kilometers from the Earth’s orbit are classified as potentially hazardous asteroids, according to NASA.

The Asteroid 2022 SA1 will fly past Earth today, September 21 at a distance of 7.1 million kilometers from Earth at a staggering speed of 50,760 kilometers per hour. This asteroid was discovered just recently on September 17, 2022 and belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids, located in the main asteroid belt near Jupiter.

Did you know?

Asteroids have been responsible for some of the biggest events in history. From the Chelyabinsk disaster that claimed many lives to the extinction of dinosaurs millions of years ago, whenever asteroids have crashed on Earth, they have impacted lives.

Technology behind tracking asteroids

Most of the asteroids are observed with the help of the NEOWISE Project which repurposed NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer to work as a survey telescope and scan the sky for Near-Earth Objects. NASA then uses its ground-based radar to gather precise data about the asteroid’s path and its characteristics.

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. NASA also has a NEO Surveyor mission planned for launch in 2026 to gain even greater in-depth data using a new orbiter.