According to NASA, 5 large asteroids are rushing towards Earth today. Should you be worried?
There is going to be an asteroid bombardment today! As many as 5 large asteroids are gunning for the Earth today, April 2 according to the American space agency. While asteroids zoom past our planet almost every single day, it is rare to see so many asteroids passing by the Earth together. This also increases the risk factor significantly as even one of them deviating from their path and heading towards the Earth can spell instant disaster for us all. While the prediction at this time is that these asteroids will make a safe passage, things can change at a moment’s notice.
According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory by NASA, these five asteroids are named 2022 FQ, 2016 GW221, 2022 FE2, 2021 GN1 and 2022 FJ1. The asteroids are between the size of 18-40 meters, and although they are not particularly large, if they were to crash into Earth, they will cause severe localized damage and create large impact craters which can lead to earthquakes, tsunamis and forest fires. It should be noted that all of these asteroids have been classified as near Earth objects (NEO) and as such, they are all potentially hazardous to our planet. Just a couple of weeks back, an asteroid named 2022 EB5 deviated from its path and hit the Earth near the western coast of Greenland.
NASA: 5 asteroids headed towards the Earth
Asteroid 2022 FQ is a 37 meters wide asteroid and its closest approach to the Earth will be at 3,070,000 kilometers. The 2016 GW221 is the largest asteroid to fly by the Earth today at 40 meters wide, and it will pass the Earth at a distance of 3,740,000 kilometers. Asteroids 2022 FE2 and 2021 GN1 are 30 and 18 meters wide respectively and their closest approach will be at 3,850,000 and 5,510,000 kilometers. Finally, the 2022 FJ1 is a 26 meters wide asteroid which will move away from the Earth from the farthest distance of 6,320,000 kilometers. If you want to find out more about these asteroids, you can visit NASA’s Small Body Database. Do note, that due to the distance, none of these asteroids will be visible to the naked eye. You will need a high-power telescope to be able to see these space rocks floating across the sky.
The Planetary Defense Coordination Office or the PDCO, a wing of NASA that is tasked with monitoring and building anti-asteroid strategies, is responsible for tracking these asteroids and ensuring that they follow the predicted trajectory and never come close to the Earth. The existence of the department in itself highlights the danger these asteroids pose towards our planet and humanity.