120-foot giant asteroid rushing for close encounter with Earth today, NASA says

120-foot giant asteroid rushing for close encounter with Earth today, NASA says

This 120-foot asteroid is speeding toward Earth at 13045 miles per hour and will come as close as 2.6 mn miles.

This massive asteroid is set to do a close flyby of Earth today, says NASA. (Pixabay)

A massive asteroid is heading toward a close encounter with Earth today, NASA says. The alert is about Asteroid 2022 YS5, which is a 120-foot, passenger plane-sized space rock that is travelling at a fiery speed toward the Earth. The close approach to Earth will leave a gap between the asteroid and the Earth of just about 2,620,000 miles. A near-miss!

Asteroid 2022 YS5 has been dubbed as a near-Earth object (NEO) by NASA’s Small-Body Database Lookup. It belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. Notably, Asteroid 2022 YS5 is speeding along at a fiery 13045 miles per hour. 

Amazingly, this asteroid had buzzed Earth in July 2023 and it is set to make another close approach to Earth in January 2025.

Why NASA has this asteroid alert?

The reason is simple. Asteroids have a nasty habit of crashing into planets and destroying them. Notably, a number of them have crashed on Earth and the moon. On Earth, an asteroid strike is blamed for the extinction of dinosaurs. Putting things in perspective recently was none other than the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief S Somanath. He said that if an asteroid were to strike Earth, “We are all extinct.”

Also, two asteroids have struck Earth in recent memory. One was the Tunguska event in 1908 and the Chelyabinsk asteroid in February 2013.

To ward off any such threat and to get a forewarning about asteroids that may threaten Earth in the future, US space agency NASA has its Planetary Defence Coordination Office. NASA has also successfully crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid to deflect it. It was called the DART mission.

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