NASA has warned that Asteroid 2020 QW3 is hurtling towards Earth at a staggering speed and will just about miss Earth on August 22.
A 92-foot wide asteroid named Asteroid 2020 QW3, which is nearly the size of an aeroplane, will just about miss Earth on August 22 at 06:41am, according to NASA. The asteroid is set to pass Earth at a staggering speed of 64800 kilometers per hour. Although it will not collide with Earth, it will pass very close to Earth and therefore, has attract NASA’s attention. Asteroid 2020 QW3 is different from previous asteroids that have flown past Earth recently as it does not belong to the Apollo group of asteroids but the Amor group. The asteroid orbits around the Sun, taking almost 732 days to complete 1 orbit.
The Asteroid 2020 QW3 will fly past Earth on August 22 at 06:41am at a distance of 3.3 million kilometers at a staggering speed of 64.800 kilometers per hour. Although NASA has stated that this asteroid will not pose any viable threat to Earth, it was still classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid due to the close proximity of its encounter with Earth.
According to Sky.org, Asteroid 2020 QW3 is at a maximum distance of 321 million kilometers from the Sun. On the other hand, its distance from the Earth is just 8.96 million kilometers, equivalent to 0.06 astronomical units. An astronomical unit (AU, or au) is basically a unit of length equal to the average, or mean, distance between Earth and the Sun, that is, 149,597,870.7 km (92,955,807.3 miles).
To study asteroids that are not in the asteroid belt, NASA has the Lucy Space Mission. 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. It is built to seek out trojan asteroids millions of miles from Earth.