Airplane-size asteroid to fly past Earth today

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By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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NASA’s Centre of NEO Studies (CNEOS) had warned that an asteroid known as NEO 2022 QP3 will whizz past Earth at 3:25 am IST on August 29. The asteroid is 100-foot wide and is expected to come as close as 5.51 million kilometres to the Earth

An asteroid, approximately the size of an aeroplane, reached its closest approach towards Earth today, August 29, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) revealed.

NASA’s Centre of NEO Studies (CNEOS) had warned that an asteroid known as NEO 2022 QP3 will whizz past Earth at 3:25 am IST on August 29. The asteroid is 100-foot wide and is expected to come as close as 5.51 million kilometres to the Earth, India Today reported.

NASA’s Planetary Defence Coordination Office has designated the asteroid as a “potentially hazardous object” and red-flagged the event due to its close proximity to the Earth. NEO 2022 QP3 is travelling at a velocity of 7.93 km per second.

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On August 26, asteroid NEO 2022 QP4 flew past Earth from 13,96,682 kilometres. Another 100-foot-diameter asteroid NEO 2022 QQ4 whizzed past Earth on August 27 with its closest approach at 5.93 million kilometres from the Earth. According to NASA’s CNEOS, the giant asteroid had a velocity of 7.23 km per second.

NASA defines asteroids as small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun. They are much smaller than planets. Due to the gravitational pull of the planets, asteroids can sometimes alter their course and collide with them.

When the distance of an asteroid from the Earth is less than 1.3 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun, it is classified as a near-Earth object, according to the NASA  Joint Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

NASA deploys the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, spacecraft to defend Earth from these rocky fragments. The spacecraft is launched into an asteroid’s core to deflect it from its original path.

Two more asteroids – Asteroids 2022 QX4 and 2017 BU – are expected to fly past the Earth on August 29.

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