An asteroid the size of a 50-story skyscraper will zoom past Earth on Sunday (July 17), getting as close to our planet as it has been in almost 100 years.
The meaty space rock named 2022 KY4 is sure to miss Earth by about 3.8 million miles (6.1 million kilometers), or more than 16 times the average Earth-Moon distance, according to NASA. This is considerably further away than that Asteroid 2022 NFwhich was within 56,000 miles (90,000 km) – or about 23% of the average distance between Earth and the moon – on July 7th.
asteroid 2022 KY4 is approximately 88 meters (290 feet) in diameter at its widest visible point and is traveling at an estimated speed of 27,000 km/h (16,900 mph) – about eight times the speed of a rifle bullet. according to NASA.
The space rock has approached Earth several times before, most recently in 1959 and 1948. The asteroid will no longer approach our planet by May 2048, NASA calculated.
NASA and other space agencies are closely monitoring thousands of near-Earth objects like this one. Even if an asteroid’s trajectory is millions of kilometers away from our planet, there is an extremely small chance that the asteroid’s orbit will change slightly after interacting with the planet heaviness from a larger object, like a planet; Even such a tiny shift could potentially put an asteroid on a collision course with Earth on a future flyby.
Therefore, space agencies take the defense of the planet very seriously. In November 2021, NASA launched an asteroid-deflecting spacecraft called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) that will impact directly into the 160m-wide asteroid Dimorphos autumn 2022. The collision will not destroy the asteroid, but it might change the orbit of the space rock easily, Live Science previously reported. The mission will help test the viability of asteroid deflection should a future asteroid pose an imminent threat to our planet.
Originally published on Live Science.
Asteroid 2022 KY4 makes its closest-ever approach on July 17 Source link Asteroid 2022 KY4 makes its closest-ever approach on July 17