NASA has warned about this small yet potentially hazardous space rock, which will come extremely close to Earth today. It will be even closer than the moon.
There are over 1.1 million asteroids in our solar system, and they are more often found orbiting the Sun in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid belt contains a huge number of asteroids larger than 1 kilometre or 0.6 miles in diameter, while others are smaller in size. One of those small asteroids is now on its way toward Earth at a terrifying speed of 89220 kmph, CNEOS data revealed. This small asteroid measures 18-foot or 5 metres in diameter and is named 2022 YJ- size of a car. Well, you must be thinking that if this asteroid is small, then what makes it a matter of concern?
It is the proximity! As per the asteroid data tracking page by NASA, Asteroid 2022 YJ will fly past the Earth today December 18 at a horrifyingly close distance of just 175,000 miles. The worrying part is that it is even closer than our Moon! Much. much closer. The average distance between Earth and the moon is 239,000 miles or 385,000 kilometers.
Even more worrying is the fact that, as per the-sky.org, the asteroid 2022 YJ was discovered just a day ago on December 17, 2022. This near-Earth object belongs to the Apollo group, which makes one orbit around the Sun in 1254 days. Currently, the asteroid is below the horizon in the constellation of Taurus. It will appear in the sky in the east-southeast around 16:05.
To detect the terror in advance, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for NEO Studies maintains an impact risk assessment list of all the near-Earth objects that will make relatively close approaches to Earth. NASA’s JPL has given the tag of potentially hazardous objects to all the space rocks that approach within 4.6 million miles of Earth and has a size larger than about 150 meters. This is what makes this small asteroid a potential threat to Earth.
This is how NASA tracks asteroids’ terror
In order to monitor these asteroids, there are several Earth and Sky-based technologies like telescopes, satellites, and more deployed by NASA in space and on Earth. “Some of the most detailed characterization data is obtained for NEOs that approach Earth close enough to be observed with planetary radar, performed by radio telescopes at NASA’s Deep Space Network and the National Science Foundation’s Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico,” NASA revealed.