A big asteroid scheduled to pass relatively close to Earth will mean close call

This asteroid was only recently discovered on September 12, 2022 by the Pan-STARRS2 telescope in Hawaii. Observations by the Pan-STARRS2 telescope as well as the Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona in October were able to determine the asteroid’s path.

Named 2022 RM4 by the Minor Planet Center, the asteroid is heading towards Earth but it doesn’t threaten to crash into us or even create any direct issues. That said, travelling at speeds of about 52,000 miles per hour (83,671 kilometers per meter), it will come as close as just under six times the moon’s distance from Earth on Nov 1, 2022, or a distance of 1,427,801 miles (2,297,822 kilometers), reported Newsweek.

Telescope owners can gear up as they may get a decent look at the fly-by.

As asteroids are relatively small in terms of the universe, they can fairly easily be disturbed, “so they can develop orbits that cross those planets,” explained Jay Tate, the director of the Spaceguard Center observatory in the U.K., to Newsweek.

Therefore, even though the 2022 RM4 asteroid is relatively close to Earth on a solar system scale, the chances of it, or any other asteroid, hitting Earth are incredibly low. One of the reasons this asteroid is of particular interest is that it was so recently discovered, demonstrating that the survey of near-Earth asteroids is not yet complete.

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