A massive asteroid is making its way to Earth and it may reach the Earth today. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has issued a warning that the asteroid, the size of an aeroplane, will reach its closest approach today, August 28.
The asteroid named NEO 2022 QP3 will pass by Earth on August 29, 3:25 am IST. It is a 100-foot wide asteroid which is expected to come as close as 5.51 million kilometres to the Earth.
Nasa’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) confirmed that the asteroid has a velocity of 7.93 km per second.
According to the US space agency’s Planetary Defence Coordination Office, the asteroid, due to its close proximity, has been designated as a “potentially hazardous object”.
This comes after asteroid NEO 2022 QQ4 whizzed past Earth on Saturday. It was 5.93 million kilometres from our planet when it made its closest approach. As per CNEOS, the giant asteroid moved at a speed of 7.23 km per second.
Asteroids are rocky fragments left over from the formation of the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. An asteroid is classified as a near-Earth object when its distance from our planet is less than 1.3 times the distance from Earth to the Sun (the Earth-Sun distance is about 93 million miles), according to the Nasa Joint Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
In order to defend Earth from these rocky fragments, Nasa deploys its DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) spacecraft. The space agency launches a spacecraft right into an asteroid’s core to deflect it from its original path.
The data from the crash can help scientists create mini-impacts in a lab and build sophisticated computer models based on those results.