A newly discovered, “potentially dangerous” asteroid, nearly the size of the world’s tallest skyscraper, will pass by Earth just in time for Halloween, according to NASA.
this asteroidCalled RM4 2022, its estimated diameter is between 1,083 and 2,428 feet (330 and 740 meters) – just below Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at 2,716 feet (828 m). It will pass our planet at about 52,500 mph (84,500 km/h), or roughly 68 times the speed of sound, according to NASA (opens in new tab).
At its closest approach in November. 1, the asteroid will come within about 1.43 million miles (2.3 million kilometers). SoilAbout six times the average distance between Earth and Earth moon. By cosmic standards, this is a very thin margin.
Related: Why are asteroids and comets such strange shapes? (opens in new tab)
NASA marks any space object that comes within 120 million miles (193 million km) of Earth as a “near-Earth object” and classifies any large object within 4.65 million miles (7.5 million km) of our planet as “potentially dangerous.” Once marked, these potential threats are closely watched by astronomers who scan them with radar for any signs of deviation from their predicted orbits that could put them on a devastating collision course with Earth.
There’s no danger, but the newly discovered asteroid 2022 RM4 will pass less than 6 feet on the Moon on November 1. It will likely shine up to 14.3 mags at 740 meters wide, within reach of backyard telescopes. @unistellar That’s pretty close for an asteroid this size. #2022RM4 pic.twitter.com/Z8khblg3GqOctober 5, 2022
NASA has tracked the locations and orbits of nearly 28,000 asteroids and tracked them. Asteroid Terrestrial Impact Final Warning System (ATLAS) — an array of four telescopes capable of performing a total sweep of the entire night sky every 24 hours.
Since ATLAS went online in 2017, it has detected more than 700 near-Earth asteroids and 66 comets. Two asteroids detected by ATLAS, 2019 MO and 2018 LA, actually crashed into Earth, the first burst off the southern coast of Puerto Rico and the second crash-landed on the border of Botswana and South Africa. Fortunately, these asteroids were small and did not cause any damage.
NASA has estimated the orbits of all near-Earth objects after the end of the century. The good news is that Earth does not face any known danger from an apocalyptic asteroid collision for at least the next 100 years. according to NASA (opens in new tab).
Related: 8 ways to stop an asteroid: Nuclear weapons, paint and Bruce Willis
But that doesn’t mean astronomers think they should stop looking. While the majority of near-Earth objects, such as the planet-shattering comet in the 2021 satirical disaster movie “Don’t Look Up,” are not the end of civilization, there are plenty of devastating asteroid impacts in recent history to justify the ongoing catastrophe. alertness.
For example, a meteor the size of a bowling ball in March 2021 exploded over Vermont (opens in new tab) With 440 pounds (200 kilograms) of TNT power. In 2013, a meteor exploding in the atmosphere above the city of Chelyabinsk in central Russia produced an explosion roughly equal to about 400 to 500 kilotons of TNT, or an explosion equal to 26 to 33 times the energy released by TNT. Hiroshima bomb (opens in new tab). During the eruption in 2013, fireballs rained down on the city and its surroundings, damaging buildings, shattering windows and injuring nearly 1,500 people.
If astronomers are to spy on a dangerous asteroid coming our way, space agencies around the world are working on possible ways to deflect it. On September 26, the Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART) spacecraft rerouted the non-dangerous asteroid Dimorphos request to divert him (opens in new tab)By changing the asteroid’s orbit by 32 minutes in the first test of Earth’s planetary defense system.
suggested in China (opens in new tab) is in the early planning stages of an asteroid-directing mission. 23 by launching the Long March 5 rocket the asteroid BennuThe country, which will swing within 4.6 million miles (7.4 million km) of Earth’s orbit between 2175 and 2199, hopes to remove space rock from a potentially catastrophic impact with our planet.
Originally published on Live Science.
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