This bus-sized asteroid will come very close to Earth today
Earlier today, NASA flexed its planetary defense muscles by crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid. It seems that other asteroids did not receive the message yet. One of them is already headed our way. NASA has classified this asteroid dubbed 2022 SD10 as a 'potentially hazardous object.' This near-Earth object belongs to the Apollo group and is currently 1.34 million km away from us.
Why does this story matter?
- Another month is about to end, and unfortunately, it hasn't been that different for Earth. Asteroids kept whizzing past our planet, giving us just enough time to perform an evasive maneuver.
- Those days of relying on Earth's skills may have come to an end. NASA's DART probe completed its first hit today.
- From what we know so far, it was a successful one.
The asteroid takes 977 days to orbit around Sun
The asteroid 2022 SD10 is approximately 40 feet (12-meter) in diameter. It is the size of a bus and was discovered on September 25. It has its perihelion close to Mars' orbit, while the aphelion is near Jupiter's orbit. The space rock will take 977 days to complete one orbit around the Sun. It will fly past us today at 10:23 pm IST.
It will come as close as 1.1 million km
The asteroid 2022 SD10 will come as close as 1.17 million km to Earth. It will hurtle past us at a relative velocity of 82,368km/h. This distance may look like a lot in territorial terms but it is nothing in cosmic units. Considering the speed at which it is traveling, a slight deviation in its path should be enough to cause localized damage.
Near-Earth Objects within 8 million km are potentially hazardous
Should we be worried about 2022 SD10? You might think that with DART around, asteroids are not a problem anymore. Near-Earth Objects (NEO) are classified as Potentially Hazardous Objects (PHO) if their closest approach to Earth is within eight million kilometers. If we go by that, 2022 SD10 is certainly a problem. It will be one of the closest approaches to Earth recently.