A massive asteroid is headed for Earth and will get terrifyingly close to the planet in the coming days. Will it crash on Earth, burn up in the atmosphere, or fly by after buzzing the planet from terrifyingly close? Look what NASA said about this asteroid.
A massive asteroid is headed for Earth and will get terrifyingly close to the planet in the coming days. Will it crash to Earth, burn up in the atmosphere, or fly back into endless space after buzzing the planet at terrifyingly close range? Asteroids are Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) that are commonly found orbiting the sun in the main asteroid belt near Jupiter. NASA defines NEOs as an object whose orbit brings it within a zone about 195 million kilometers from the sun, meaning it can pass within about 50 million kilometers of Earth’s orbit. Usually, asteroids are the most common NEOs that come close to Earth’s orbit. Most burn up and disintegrate before reaching the planet, but some can still make it through. Now another one is on the way.
Asteroid 2020 PT4 is terrifyingly close to Earth on September 15
Asteroid 2020 PT4 is part of the Apollo group of asteroids. According to the-sky.org, this asteroid takes nearly 734 days to complete one orbit around the sun, with the farthest distance from the sun being 355 million kilometers and the nearest being 122 million kilometers.
Asteroid 2020 PT4 is headed for Earth on Sept. 15 at a blistering speed of 39,024 kilometers per hour, according to NASA. It will make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of nearly 7.1 million kilometers. Although asteroid 2020 PT4 is not expected to impact Earth, it is still classified as a potentially hazardous object due to its proximity to Earth.
A slight deviation in its path due to interaction with the planet’s gravitational field can alter its orbit and send it to Earth.
NASA’s DART spacecraft gains first view of target asteroid Didymos
The DART spacecraft recently took its first look at Didymos, the twin asteroid system encompassing its target, Dimorphos. According to NASA information, DART will intentionally crash into Dimorphos, the asteroid moon of Didymos, on Sept. 26. While the asteroid poses no threat to Earth, this is the world’s first test of the kinetic impact technique, using a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid for planetary defense.”
Using observations made every five hours, the DART team will perform three orbit correction maneuvers over the next three weeks, each further narrowing the margin of error for the spacecraft’s required trajectory to impact.