Giant asteroids are often found orbiting the Sun in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. But they also pose a potential danger to Earth if they stray out of there and head towards a collision with our planet. A perfect example of such a mishap in the past is the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago on EarthThe impact of the asteroid caused a terrifyingly large amount of energy to be released, resulting in extensive environmental alterations that eventually led to the extinction of dinosaurs and several other species. These asteroids can surely be lethal to Earth.
Now, five such dangerous asteroids are rushing toward Earth today! The largest of them all is said to have a diameter of 130-foot, which is equal to an airplane. It is dubbed asteroid 2023 HX, which will make the closest approach at a distance of 4.19 million miles, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) mentioned. This airplane-sized asteroid is moving at a speed of 42404 kilometers per hour, CNEOS data revealed. Should you worry about this asteroid? Know what NASA says.
The danger of Asteroid 2023 HX
Any space rocks with a size of over 150 meters that come within 4.6 million miles of Earth are labeled as potentially hazardous objects by NASA’s JPL. Fortunately, this particular asteroid 2023 HX has not been classified as a threat to Earth. Nevertheless, there are instances when the gravitational force of a planet can cause an asteroid to deviate its course and head towards a planet like Earth, posing a potential impact risk.
Hence, NASA keeps a constant eye on the movements of the asteroids to ensure any kind of threat is quickly found.
How NASA tracks these asteroids
Without the appropriate tech, monitoring potentially hazardous asteroids on a daily basis is a highly challenging task. To overcome this difficulty, NASA utilizes optical and radio telescopes to determine the asteroids’ size, shape, rotation, and physical composition. The NEOWISE telescope, which is a technical marvel, is among the tools that assist scientists in tracking these asteroids. Additionally, NASA’s Deep Space Network radio telescopes and the National Science Foundation’s Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico obtain comprehensive characterization data about these asteroids.
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