NASA says that a 75-foot wide asteroid will be coming dangerously close to the Earth today, November 19. Know the consequences that this huge asteroid has.
After multiple failed attempts, NASA was finally able to launch the Artemis 1 Moon rocket successfully. The mission is going to be the precursor before the American space agency sends crewed spacecraft to the Moon again. But while we are creating milestones in space exploration, the same space has become a source of terror for us. The threat comes from these asteroids that approach the Earth at dangerously close distances. They can easily get pulled in by the gravitational force of the Earth, strike our planet and cause massive destruction. Today, November 19, this threat comes from a 75-foot wide asteroid which will be coming very close to the planet.
Asteroid coming dangerously close to the Earth
The Planetary Defense of NASA is made up of multiple departments, all of which are tasked with monitoring the Near-Earth Objects (NEO). These departments include Center for Near Earth Objects Studies (CNEOS), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Small-Body database. The cumulative data from these departments has revealed quite a bit about this space rock. The asteroid is named 2022 VO2. It was first discovered recently in November 2022, and hence the four digit number in its name. The 75-foot asteroid will be coming as close as 3.3 million kilometers to the Earth. While that may seem like a large distance, traveling at a speed of 52,524 kilometers per hour, it can close that gap within days in case there is a last moment deflection.
However, the prediction by NASA at the moment is that there is little chance that 2022 VO2 will strike the Earth. It is expected that the asteroid will make a safe passage. However, various instruments will be monitoring it till it is at a safe distance from us.
The NASA tech that tracks near-Earth objects
Ever since NASA understood the risk of the near-Earth objects (NEO), it has dedicated itself to track and monitor as many space rocks in the inner circle of the solar system as possible. Using the prowess of JPL and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope, the US space agency collects data for over 20,000 asteroids.