A newly discovered “potentially dangerous” asteroid nearly the size of the world’s farthest sky is set to crash into Earth this past Halloween, according to NASA.
The asteroids, called the 2022 RM4, has an estimated diameter of between 1,083 and 2,428 feet (330 and 740 meters) — just below the height of Dubai’s 2,716-foot-tall (828 m) Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. It will pass our planet at about 52,500 mph (84,500 km/h), or about 68 times the speed of sound, according to NASA (Opens in a new tab).
For the next session on Nov. 1 The asteroid will enter at about 1.43 million miles (2.3 million kilometers) earthabout six times the mean distance between the Earth and the moon. By cosmic standards, this is a very thin margin.
Related: Why do asteroids and comets have such strange shapes? (Opens in a new tab)
NASA labels any space object that comes within 120 million miles (193 million km) of Earth as a “near-Earth” object, and any large body within 4.65 million miles (7.5 km) of our planet as “potentially hazardous.” indicates As they float, these potential threats are closely watched by astronomers, who study them on radar for signs of deviations from their predicted trajectories that could cause the debris to collide with Earth.
No danger, but the newly discovered asteroid 2022 RM4 will pass less than 6 lunar distances on November 1. Perhaps the width of 740 meters will brighten to mag 14.3, well within the telescope diameter. @unistellar this is about the size of an asteroid. #2022RM4 pic.twitter.com/Z8khblg3GqOctober 5, 2022
NASA tracks the locations and orbits of roughly 28,000 asteroids and tracks them with the Asteroid Earth-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) — four telescopes arrayed across the entire night sky every 24 hours.
Since ATLAS was brought online in 2017, it has analyzed more than 700 near-Earth asteroids and 66 comets. Two asteroids detected by ATLAS, 2019 MO and 2018 LA, actually hit Earth, the latter exploding off the southern coast of Puerto Rico, the latter crashing into a port near the borders of Botswana and South Africa. Fortunately, those asteroids were small and did not cause any damage.
NASA has estimated the trajectories of all near-Earth objects beyond the end of the century. The good news is that Earth faces no known threat from an apocalyptic asteroid collision for at least the next 100 years, according to NASA. (Opens in a new tab).
Related: 8 ways to stop an asteroid: nuclear weapons, paint and Bruce Willis
But that doesn’t mean that astrologers think they should stop looking. Even if the majority of near-Earth objects may not be the end of civilization, like the star-busting comet in the 2021 satirical disaster movie “Don’t Look,” there are plenty of asteroid strikes in recent history to justify continuing. supervision
For example, in March 2021, a group of meteors exploded over Vermont (Opens in a new tab) with a force of 440 pounds (200 kilograms) of TNT. In 2013, a meteor that exploded in the atmosphere above the central Russian city of Chelyabinsk generated a blast roughly equal to about 400 to 500 kilograms of TNT, or 26 to 33 times the energy released by the Hiroshima bomb. (Opens in a new tab). During the 2013 explosion, bombs rained down on the city and its surroundings, damaging buildings, shattering windows and injuring about 1,500 people.
If astronomers were ever to detect a dangerous asteroid passing through it, space agencies around the world are already working on possible ways to deflect it. On Sept. 26, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft was redirected to the asteroid Dimorphos by a ramming process. (Opens in a new tab)changing the orbit of an asteroid for 32 minutes in the first test of the Earth’s planetary defense system.
China was also suggested (Opens in a new tab) in the first planning stages of an asteroid-redirected mission. By slamming 23 Long March 5 rockets into the Bennu asteroid, which is set to come within 4.6 million miles (7.4 million miles) of Earth’s orbit between the years 2175 and 2199, the country hopes to divert the space rock from a potentially catastrophic impact. of our planet.
First published in Live Science.
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