A huge 74-foot asteroid will just about miss Earth today. Here’s what we know about it.
An asteroid named Asteroid 2022 QV is headed for Earth today. If all goes well, it will miss our planet by just a few million miles. The asteroid is expected to pass Earth at a distance of 8.4 million kilometers at 22:01. NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office is responsible for monitoring the skies and keeping a watch on various Near Earth Objects (NEOs). If any celestial object is at risk of Earth impact, it red flags it and issues an alert. The Asteroid 2022 QV has also been red flagged by NASA. Although the asteroid is not heading for impact with Earth, it was still classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object due to its close approach to Earth. Asteroids which come closer than 28 million miles from Earth’s orbit are classified as potentially hazardous asteroids, according to NASA.
The Asteroid 2022 QV will fly past Earth today, August 22 at 22:01 at a distance of just 8.4 kilometers from Earth at a staggering speed of 76,000 kilometers per hour. The asteroid is expected to be nearly the size of an aeroplane.
According to NASA, this will be the second asteroid passing by Earth today as another asteroid named Asteroid 2022 QM just flew past Earth at 11:24 today at a distance of 7.1 million kilometers from Earth. Another asteroid is expected to pass through Earth tomorrow, on August 23.
What if an asteroid is headed for impact with Earth?
To counter this scenario, NASA has launched the DART mission costing a staggering $240 million. The aim of the mission is to smash a spacecraft into the Dimorphos asteroid to deflect it away from its path. While this asteroid in no way threatens Earth, the NASA asteroid mission is to carry out an experiment to gain greater knowledge as to what happens when a craft is crashed against a space rock.
This knowledge will be used if an actual asteroid threatens to crash against the Earth. It will help avert an Armageddon on Earth and perhaps, even save humanity from extinction.