NASA confirms a 310-feet asteroid will fly past Earth today
Asteroids seem to have developed a fascination toward Earth. US space agency NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has announced that a 310-feet wide asteroid called 2008 RW, will fly past the pale blue dot today. The rock from outer space is the size of a tall building and will simply pass by us. Scientists claim it will pose no threat to the planet.
Why does this story matter?
- Earth was greeted by an asteroid parade last month and the same is continuing this September. If the flight paths of some of them are altered toward Earth, the results can be disastrous.
- However, technological upgrades will ensure the survival of our species. NASA's DART mission and other future planetary defense systems should safeguard us from threats posed by space rocks.
A brief look at asteroid 2008 RW
The asteroid 2008 RW has a width of 310 feet and it is traveling at a speed of 10km/second (36,000km/h). The space rock will make its closest approach to our planet at a distance of 4.1 million kilometers. Not a very close distance. The asteroid will fly past the Earth today i.e. September 12 at 7.50 pm (IST).
What are asteroids?
The solar system was formed 4.6 billion years ago. The rocky airless remnants from its formation are known as asteroids. They are made of different rock types and differ in shape and size. They orbit the Sun in two groups, one ahead of Jupiter and the other trailing behind. Unlike most asteroids, the largest one called Ceres is spherical.
These asteroids flew past the Earth recently
Many asteroids flew past us over the last few days. They include the 310-feet 2008 RW, the 110-feet 2022 QZ6, the 2017 BU, and the 140-feet wide QX1. The 2015 QH3, 2022 QX4, 2022 QQ4, and 2022 QP3 also went past us. A 45-feet-wide asteroid known as 2022 RJ2 will also be nearing our planet today. It poses no danger.