Alert! A 75ft asteroid is heading Earth's way, says NASA
A 75-feet asteroid, dubbed 2022 VO2, is heading toward Earth, according to NASA. It will come close to our planet on Saturday (November 19). The space rock is hurtling at a speed of 52,524km/h and will approach us at a distance as close as 3.3 million kilometers. Despite being small in size, it can lead to serious consequences upon a change in its trajectory.
Why does this story matter?
- Asteroids wander through the solar system every now and then. However, these space rocks also pose a huge threat.
- When they come perilously close to Earth, they can easily be drawn in by the gravitational field, striking our planet and resulting in havoc.
- Therefore, NASA is constantly monitoring objects in the vicinity of Earth, the ones that might lead to massive destruction.
2022 VO2 was discovered this month
The asteroid 2022 VO2 was discovered by NASA earlier this month. It was then included in the database of the Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). The space agency states that the space rock is traveling at a speed of 52,524km/h. NASA's planetary defense body is constantly monitoring the asteroid's movement until it makes a safe passage.
The asteroid will be as close as 3.3 million km
Objects within 7.4 million km of Earth's vicinity are considered potential threats. The asteroid 2022 VO2 will make an approach as close as 3.3 million km, which is really close. NASA predicts that the space rock's chances of striking are minimal, and it is expected that it will make a safe passage. However, any last-minute deflections may lead to dangerous consequences.
NASA has collected data on around 20,000 asteroids
NASA has dedicated itself to tracking the activity of near-Earth objects (NEOs) by ramping up its asteroid strike prevention research. Using the prowess of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope and the resources of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the space agency is monitoring the asteroids that may pose a threat. So far, NASA has collected information on nearly 20,000 asteroids.