Asteroid 22 RQ, as big as aircraft, headed towards Earth today

Asteroids are now flying by Earth, but will any of them hit the planet? Well, it’s difficult to say. A massive asteroid is currently travelling toward Earth, according to a recent NASA alert. The size of this asteroid, designated Asteroid 2022 RQ, is enormous.

Asteroid 22 RQ as big as aircraft headed towards Earth on September 13 NASA issues warning gcw

First Published Sep 13, 2022, 11:10 AM IST

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has revealed that a massive asteroid, almost equal to the size of an aircraft, is headed towards Earth today – September 13, 2022. The asteroid 22 RQ is already heading toward Earth and is moving at the astounding rate of 49,536 miles per hour.

According to NASA, asteroid 22 RQ will miss Earth when it makes its closest approach at a distance of 3.7 million kilometres. However, NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has, however, warned that Asteroid 22 RQ which is 84 feet wide, is almost equal to the size of an aircraft.

The media reports suggest that Asteroid 22 RQ was initially found on September 1, 2022. It is a member of the major Apollo asteroid group. In order to monitor asteroids, NASA also maintains a NEO Observations Program that aids in the recording, monitoring, and characterization of over 90% of NEOs (near-Earth objects) that are 140 metres in size or bigger.

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The NEOWISE Project, which uses NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer as a survey telescope to search the sky for Near-Earth Objects, assists in the observation of the majority of asteroids. Asteroids, meteoroids, and comets of various types are together referred to as near-Earth objects (NEO). A smaller asteroid can be seen travelling between Earth and the Moon multiple times every month, according to NASA, the US space agency.

Asteroid fragments, comets, and meteoroids that are typically less than 3 feet in size can strike the Earth’s atmosphere and ignite it. This occurrence happens virtually daily. Additionally, NASA started the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) programme last year. The program’s goal is to protect the world against near-Earth objects.

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Last Updated Sep 13, 2022, 11:10 AM IST

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