2022 PC, a 190-foot wide asteroid, is going to make its closest approach to the Earth today, August 18, according to NASA and can pose a serious threat to us. What is the likelihood of a strike? Find out.
The latest in the high number of asteroids making a close approach towards the Earth is a 190-foot wide giant space rock that is threatening our planet, as per NASA. The Earth has been extremely lucky and has been avoiding these asteroids. The last asteroid that did strike our planet was 2022 EB5 in February when it exploded near the coast of Iceland. But how long can the Earth keep getting lucky? With this huge city-killer asteroid heading towards us, that is the question scientists are trying to answer.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Small-Body database by NASA reveal some important information about this asteroid. The asteroid is named 2022 PC, where the year describes the first time it was spotted. This particular space rock was not found till August 8 and that’s why not a lot of data is available on it. It is expected that it will come as close as 6.3 million kilometers to the Earth. But do not think it is too much distance. According to Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), it is traveling at a speed of 14,580 kilometers per hour and can close this distance in mere days, if a last moment deviation took place.
NASA: Massive asteroid headed towards the Earth
Interestingly, the orbit of this asteroid makes it revolve near the orbits of Earth and Venus. Although the orbit is elliptical, it is more rounded off than most asteroids. Because of this interesting trajectory, it comes near the Earth every few years. If the asteroid passes by, this near-Earth object (NEO) will come close to Earth next in 2026 but it will not come this close to us till 2043.
As per the recent prediction models of NASA, the asteroid is likely to make a safe passage across the Earth. But astronomers are still monitoring the space rock till it crosses our planet. To ensure that we find out at the earliest if the asteroid deviates, the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) is monitoring the space rock continuously.