NASA has warned that 40 feet wide Asteroid 2022 QP4 will zoom past Earth today, August 26. Here’s what you need to know.
Earth’s atmosphere has been showered with asteroids this month with more than 35 asteroids already missing Earth by a close margin. Although none of the asteroids have crashed on Earth, they still pose a threat due to their close proximity with Earth. Now, NASA has warned that another asteroid will zoom past Earth closely today. The asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 QP4 is already on its way towards Earth.
Asteroid 2022 QP4 to zoom past Earth
Nearly 40 feet in width, Asteroid 2022 QP4 is almost as wide as a bus. It is expected to zoom past Earth closely today at 21:45 UTC time. According to NASA, the asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of 1.4 million kilometers, travelling at a blistering speed of 27,648 kilometers per hour.
According to skylive.com, the Asteroid 2022 QP4 takes nearly 1065 days to complete one orbit around the Sun. That is nearly three times the number of days it takes Earth to complete one orbit.
NASA’s Lucy Mission to seek trojan asteroids in the solar system
NASA launched its Lucy spacecraft on Oct. 16, 2021 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This is NASA’s first space mission to study the Trojans, a group of asteroids which orbit the Sun in two groups, according to NASA.
The mission is already proving to be fruitful as the trojan asteroid-seeking spacecraft recently discovered an asteroid called Polymele that had its own satellite. The day this discovery was made, the Lucy Mission team were planning to study the occultation of the star as the asteroid passed around it. Polymele’s satellite is roughly 5 miles in diameter orbiting the asteroid about 200 kilometers from the asteroid. The asteroid itself is almost 17 miles in diameter and is nearly 480 million miles from Earth.