- A 92 feet wide asteroid, thrice the size of an aeroplane, will have a close encounter with the Earth on August 22nd.
- As per NASA, the asteroid will miss the Earth and there is no scope of collision.
- Called Asteroid 2020 QW3, it has still been categorised as a ‘potentially hazardous asteroid.’
US space agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has identified a 92 feet wide (thrice the size of an aeroplane) ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid that is headed toward earth. The agency claims that the asteroid, named Asteroid 2020 QW3, will pass right by the planet on August 22nd at 06:41 am. Its speed at the time of the passing by occurrence is anticipated to be 64,800 kmph. That said, there is zero likeliness of the potential collision between Asteroid 2020 QW3 and the Earth. Yet, the US space agency has categorised the asteroid as potentially hazardous because the encounter between the two is going to be in very close proximity.
What is Asteroid 2020 QW3?
The Asteroid 2020 QW3 is from the Amor group unlike most of the other asteroids, which have passed by Earth in the past, that belong to the Apollo group. The basic difference between the two groups is that the former group of asteroids are the ones that do not cross the Earth’s orbit while the latter ones do. Moreover, the orbits of the Amor group asteroids are further from the Sun than Earth’s orbit.
Asteroid 2020 QW3 takes 732 days to orbit the sun while Earth takes 365 days. As per the data from Sky.org, the distance between the Sun and Asteroid 2020 QW3 is 321 million kilometres, while Asteroid 2020 QW3 is 8.96 million kilometres away from the earth.
Although asteroids are smaller as compared to other planets yet they are these rocky celestial objects orbiting the sun that may cause significant damage in case of their collision with Earth. Their collision can cause cratering, earthquakes, wind blasts, shock waves, heat radiation, and even tsunamis in case they hit any waterbody on Earth.
Hence, in the wake of such threats, NASA decided to take it seriously and is currently working on a mission called Double Asteroid Detection Test (DART) to counter such possibility. This mission is aimed to deflect an asteroid from hitting the Earth by smashing a spacecraft into it at an astounding speed of 23,000 kmph.