The South Newsroom
| | August 5, 2022
An asteroid is the dimensions of two soccer fields and its affect on Earth would produce the vitality equal of 1,000 nuclear bombs. (Photo: Reproduction/NSA Lab)
A newly discovered asteroid the dimensions of two soccer fields has passed close to Earth.
Named 2022 OE2, the rock was discovered in late July and reached a distance of 5.1 million kilometers, greater than 13 occasions the space between Earth and the Moon.
An asteroid hitting Earth would launch the vitality of a thousand nuclear bombs. But don’t be concerned, there is no want to panic. That’s as a result of the star, though “nearer” when it comes to astronomical distance, remains to be too far-off to keep up a correspondence with our planet, in accordance to NASA info.
Asteroids belong to the Apollo group, the title given to those who orbit the Sun and whose path via area usually passes via Earth. More than 15,000 such objects are recognized and monitored by area companies.
According to NASA, there isn’t a danger of one of many recognized asteroids hitting Earth within the subsequent 100 years. But it is vital to emphasize the “recognized”: we’re discovering new issues on a regular basis, and plenty of of them come from “blind locations” just like the Sun, which can’t be detected by most telescopes.
For comparability functions, on July 7 the asteroid 2022 NF passed solely 90 kilometers from us, a a lot smaller distance than the present one, and it remains to be protected. So, with out worry, it isn’t immediately that we are going to be destroyed by an asteroid.
But you may be pondering: if these asteroids are so far-off from us, why is it vital to observe them? Even at nice distances, surprising adjustments can happen, akin to a collision with one other asteroid or a gravitational pull from one other planet. This can also be thought of unlikely, however harmful.
This is why NASA created and launched, in September 2021, the DART mission, or “Double Asteroid Redirection Test”. It will take a look at a brand new thought to keep away from a attainable collision between the asteroid and the Earth: as a substitute of destroying the rock, as many say, the concept is to ship the spacecraft to collide with it at a low pace, giving a “push” that may change it. his actions are to keep away from contact. That is, if we will discover out and attain him in time.
The experiment shall be carried out by the collision of the DART spacecraft with Dimorphos, a 160-meter-long large-orbiting asteroid known as Didymos, at a distance of 780 meters. And the efficiency and adjustments within the Dimorphos trajectory shall be carefully monitored by the European cubesat known as LICIACube, and much from Earth, permitting scientists to know if the plan labored.
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