NASA says that the asteroid 2022 PW is going to come extremely close to the planet today, August 16. Will this 90-feet wide city-killer strike the Earth? Find out.
Earlier, it was reported that a 60-feet wide asteroid is going to approach the Earth today, August 16. And to double the trouble, a larger 90-feet wide asteroid is also hurtling towards the Earth and it is coming today too. This city-killer asteroid is definitely scarier of the two, as not only is it capable of much more destruction given its size, it is also more likely to strike the Earth given how close to the planet it is expected to come. If this asteroid does strike the planet, it will easily flatten an area of the size of a small city and can even cause tectonic plates to shift, giving rise to earthquakes. But will it hit us? Read on to find out.
The asteroid has been named 2022 PW, according to the information provided by Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a department of NASA. The asteroid is going to come as close as 5.3 lakh kilometers to the Earth. This is dangerously close to the planet. For reference, the Moon is 3.8 lakh kilometers away from the Earth. With a speed of 26,892 kilometers per hour, it will only take the asteroid 19.7 hours to reach the Earth, if a last moment deviation took place for some reason.
At this moment, the prediction models state that the asteroid will not strike the Earth and instead will make a safe passage across our planet. But, a close eye has been kept on it to ensure it does pass by safely.
Asteroid to come almost as close to the Earth as the Moon
Even as the near-earth object (NEO) was spotted just the previous month by NASA, we have been able to collect some data about it. For instance, we know that this asteroid is moving in an irregularly elliptical orbit where the perihelion (the point in orbit closest to the Sun) is between Venus and Earth and its aphelion (the point in orbit farthest from the Sun) is between Earth and Mars.
If the Earth escapes the asteroid strike this time around, we will see this space rock annually till 2024 when it takes a three year break before coming close to us again. However, it will not be coming this close at least till 2053.