Home » Current Affairs » Asteroid 2022 KY4: For the first time in 100 years, a building-sized asteroid is moving towards Earth today

Asteroid 2022 KY4: For the first time in 100 years, a building-sized asteroid is moving towards Earth today

Asteroid 2022 KY4

Asteroid 2022 KY4 – A massive asteroid almost twice the size of the Statue of Liberty will make its closest approach to Earth today, July 17, 2022. NASA confirmed that the asteroid would fly very close.

NASA had previously warned of a building-sized asteroid as big as a 50-story skyscraper. NASA confirmed that it would make its closest approach to Earth on July 17, 2022.

Asteroid 2022 KY4 is not expected to hit Earth. However, astronomers will keep a close eye on its trajectory, ensuring there are no deviations in its path that could bring it closer to Earth or collide with it.

Also Read: NASA Launches First-of-its-Kind Dart Mission: Everything You Need To Know

Asteroid 2022 KY4: 7 facts you need to know

1. The asteroid travels at an estimated speed of 16,900 mph, about 27,000 km/h.

2. The asteroid travels at about eight times the speed of a rifle bullet.

3. The asteroid is about 290 feet across, about the size of a 50-story skyscraper.

4. It will come closest to Earth in about 100 years.

5. Asteroid 2022 KY4 was last to close to Earth in 1959 and 1948.

6. Asteroid 2022 KY4 is expected to fly safely at about 3.8 million miles from Earth, which is 6.1 million kilometers away.

7. The distance the asteroid will approach the Earth is greater than the average distance between the Earth and the Moon.

How likely is the asteroid to hit Earth?

Researchers have assured that asteroid 2022 KY4 will approach Earth from about 6.1 million kilometers, but there is nothing to worry about. This distance is far from asteroid 2022 NF, which came within 56,000 miles (90,000 kilometers) of Earth on July 7. The asteroid will not approach Earth until May 2048.

Also, space agencies like NASA are prepared for a possible collision. NASA launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), an asteroid deflection spacecraft, in November 2021 that will hit the asteroid directly should it crash into Earth. The collision will not destroy the asteroid; it will only slightly change its orbital path.

The spacecraft is expected to hit the 525-foot-wide asteroid Dimorphos later this year. The US Space Agency and other space agencies continuously monitor cosmic objects that come close to Earth’s path.

What will happen when an asteroid hits Earth?

Regardless, an asteroid’s collision with Earth is only possible in rare circumstances because space objects usually don’t move from their orbits despite the gravitational pull of a larger object.

However, if an asteroid hits Earth, the more energy it releases, the more damage it will likely cause on the ground. For example, if a mile-wide asteroid hits Earth, it will hit the planet’s surface at about 30,000 miles per hour. The energy to be expelled would be roughly equivalent to a 1 million megaton bomb at its speed.

The asteroid, the size of a 20-story building, could generate energy equivalent to the largest nuclear bomb ever built and would topple reinforced concrete buildings by falling 8 kilometers below ground. This would mean the destruction of the cities around the sphere of influence.

It can also trigger environmental impacts such as shock waves, heat radiation, cratering, and if water bodies are affected, even tsunamis.

Just one giant asteroid, 7 to 8 miles across, has the potential to wipe out everything on Earth. The asteroid would produce a huge plume of dust upon the impact that would engulf the entire planet and block out the Sun and raise the temperature where it hit, killing billions of people. Still, scientists believe that some life will survive.

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