NASA has issued an asteroid warning against a huge asteroid hurtling towards the planet. Find out what the space agency has to say.
Another day, another asteroid heads to Earth, which is the story of this month so far. 5 asteroids have passed near Earth in the past two days, and now NASA has issued an alert that another one is already on its way. Asteroids are near-Earth objects (NEOs) mostly found orbiting the sun in the main asteroid belt near Jupiter. Asteroids are the most common near-Earth objects that come close to Earth’s orbit. Most of them burn and disintegrate before reaching the planet but some can still pass through it.
Asteroid 2022 SK1 rushes towards Earth today
Asteroid 2020 SK1 is part of the Apollo asteroid group. According to the-sky.org, this asteroid takes approximately 734 days to complete one orbit of the Sun, with its farthest distance from the Sun being 295 million km and the closest being 151 million km.
Asteroid 2020 SK1 is heading to Earth today, September 22, at a super speed of 30,204 kilometers per hour, according to NASA. This 100-foot-wide asteroid will cut its closest point to the planet at a distance of approximately 2.7 million kilometers. Although asteroid 2020 SK1 is not expected to impact Earth, it is still classified as a potentially dangerous object due to its proximity to Earth.
A slight deviation in its trajectory due to interaction with the planet’s gravitational field can alter its trajectory and cause it to rush toward Earth.
How is the orbit of an asteroid calculated?
The asteroid’s orbit is calculated by finding the elliptical path of the Sun that best fits the available observations of the object using various space and ground telescopes such as NASA’s NEOWISE telescope and the new Sentry II algorithm. This means that the object’s calculated trajectory around the sun is adjusted so that predictions of where the asteroid should have appeared in the sky multiple times match the positions in which the object was actually seen at the same time.