Asteroid larger than two football fields whizzed past Earth today
When it comes to large asteroids flying past, Earth has been riding its luck lately. Our planet was at its evasive best again today when another massive asteroid zoomed past us at 9:53am IST. The asteroid dubbed '2022 OE2' came as close as 5.19 million kilometers to the Earth, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids.
- It seems that asteroids roaming around in space have taken a special liking to Earth these days. Although none of them has caused us any problem so far, we can't disregard the threat posed by them.
- We may not be that far from a mischievous asteroid causing us some damage or at least making us deploy our defence systems.
The asteroid 2022 OE2 is approximately between 557 and 1,246 feet (179-380m) in width. Just so you know, it is twice the size of an American football field. It has an abnormally elongated orbit with its perihelion near Mercury's orbit and aphelion near Jupiter's orbit. It was first spotted this year and was moving at a speed of 1,15,872km/h.
When the asteroid 2022 OE2 was at its closest to Earth, it was 5.19 million kilometers away. If you consider the velocity at which the asteroid traveled, that distance could have been covered in record time in case of a slight deviation. We have averted the threat, but 2022 OE2 hitting our planet would have released more energy than 1,000 nuclear bombs.
Our planet has been under constant threat of asteroids lately. Last weekend, two asteroids came dangerously close to Earth. That was followed by a 1,200-feet giant on August 3, which the Earth masterfully evaded again. However, none of them have come as close as the 2022 OE2. Recognizing its threat, NASA categorized it as a potentially hazardous asteroid.