According to NASA, a large 290-feet wide asteroid will make its closest approach to the Earth tomorrow, July 17. How likely is it to strike our planet? Find out.
After a relatively quiet period of time, asteroids have begun swarming our planet. Just last week, NASA spotted a small 41-feet wide asteroid coming dangerously close to the Earth, and this week astronomers have given warning for a massive asteroid which is going to make its closest approach towards the Earth tomorrow, July 17. This asteroid is 290-feet wide. For reference, the Qutub Minar, at 238-feet tall, is still smaller than this asteroid. Due to the asteroid’s close proximity to the Earth, it has been classified as a near-Earth object. With the closest approach set for tomorrow, now scientists are observing the space rock to ensure it makes a safe passage away into space. So, is there any risk of an asteroid strike? Find out.
According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA, the asteroid has been named 2022 KY4. The number in the name indicates the year when it was discovered. As per estimates, the space rock is moving at a tremendous speed of 27,000 km/h. The asteroid is expected to come as close as 6.1 million kilometers to the Earth. This distance is pretty wide and usually it is assumed to be safe for any asteroid passage. However, scientists continue to observe it for any deviation in its path.
Asteroid, larger than the Qutub Minar to approach the Earth tomorrow
Like most asteroids in our solar system, 2022 KY4, is part of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The farthest point in its orbit is placed in between the two planets but the shortest point just near the Earth. NASA records suggest that it is a rare occurrence when this asteroid comes this close to the Earth despite sharing a common point in their respective orbits. The last time this asteroid was seen was in 1959 and the next time we get to see it again will not be before 2048. Since at the moment there is no threat of an asteroid strike, astronomy enthusiasts can try to watch this rare sight live. However, a professional telescope will be required in order to view it.