NASA warns of 'potentially dangerous' asteroid over 1,600 meters in diameter

NASA warns of ‘potentially dangerous’ asteroid over 1,600 meters in diameter

The JAR warned by a asteroid giant more than 1,600 meters in diameter It will pass close to Earth next Friday, May 27. The space rock raised an alert because measures more than 1,600 meters in diametertwice the size of the tallest building in the world.

Although the space agency has assured that it is “potentially dangerous”, it indicated that there is a low probability that the asteroid named 7335 (JA 1989) become a threat to the planet It will pass at a distance of about 4 million kilometerswhich represents almost 10 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon.

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The asteroid will travel faster than a bullet

According to Center for Near-Earth Object Studies According to NASA, the institute in charge of tracking space rocks, the asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at 2:26 p.m. UTC on Friday (11:26 a.m. in Argentina).

At that time, the rock will be 0.026 astronomical units (4 million km) from Earth and it will move at an impressive speed of around 47,231 kilometers per hour, which is 14.5 times faster than a bullet.

Regarding its gigantic size, scientists compared the so-called 7335 (1989 JA) with the building Burj Khalifa, the skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 828 meters highwhich is today the highest in the world.

Burj Khalifa Building Dubai 20220523
At 828 meters, the Burj Khalifa building is the tallest in the world.

The diameter of the asteroid, meanwhile, will measure twice that of the famous building. Additionally, it will be the largest space rock to approach Earth this year, according to NASA estimates.

chance of impact

Despite the warning about its danger, the JAR said the chances of the giant asteroid threatening the planet are low. However, does not rule out the chances of an asteroid collision in the near future.

“The experts estimate that the impact of an object of the tamaño del que explotó sobre Chelyabinsk, Rusia, in 2013, of approximately 55 feet (17 meters) of tamaño, tiene lugar una o dos veces por siglo”, indicaron desde la agencia espacial radicada in the USA.

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Scientists also observe a low probability of impact on “larger” space objectsand predict that it will be much less frequent, considering a scale of centuries to millennia.

However, it warned that its so-called “Near-Earth Object” (NEO) catalog is not complete, meaning an unforeseen impact could occur “at any time”. “Since the current NEO catalog is incomplete, an unforeseen impact, such as the Chelyabinsk event, could occur at any time,” indicated by NASA.

0402_Trojan asteroid
NASA discovers about 30 new near-Earth objects every week. At the beginning of 2019, he discovered more than 19,000 objects.

NASA’s DART mission

NASA launched on first space nave “de defensa planetaria” llamada “Misión de Prueba de Redirección de Double Asteroide (DART por sus siglas en inglés), para preparar para un potential impacto mayor y desviar une asteroid de hasta cerca de 11 millones de kilómetros Of the earth.

The cost of the mission launched in November 2021 is $325 million and it will take 10 months to complete its journey of more than 11 million kilometers into deep space.

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It is estimated that the ship will intentionally impact the small asteroid in October 2022 Dimorphoswhich orbits a larger asteroid called Didymos, at 15,000 mph (24,100 km/h), to slightly alter its orbit.

The idea is that when the 1,210-pound space probe hits Dimorphos, it will change the speed of the “little moon” by a fraction of 1%, changing the orbital period for a few minutes, as depicted in the famous movie Armageddon.

Although the Dimorphos space rock poses no danger to Earth, NASA wants to measure the asteroid’s altered orbit caused by the collision, i.e. the kinetic impact. Using ground-based telescopes, this “planet defense” exercise will inform future missions that could save Earth from the impact of a hypothetical deadly asteroid.

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