According to NASA, 5 large asteroids are hurtling towards Earth today. Should we be worried?
There’s going to be an asteroid bombardment today! No fewer than 5 large asteroids are targeting Earth today, April 2, according to the US space agency. While asteroids pass our planet almost every day, it’s rare to see so many asteroids pass together near Earth. It also greatly increases the risk factor, as even one of them veering off course and heading towards Earth can spell instant disaster for all of us. While the current prediction is that these asteroids will make a safe passage, things could change at any moment.
According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, these five asteroids are named 2022 FQ, 2016 GW221, 2022 FE2, 2021 GN1, and 2022 FJ1. Asteroids range in size from 18 to 40 meters, and although they are not particularly large, if they were to crash into Earth they would cause severe localized damage and create large impact craters that could result in earthquakes, tsunamis and forest fires. It should be noted that all of these asteroids have been classified as near-Earth objects (NEOs) and as such they are all potentially dangerous to our planet. Just a few weeks ago, an asteroid named 2022 EB5 veered off course and hit Earth near the west coast of Greenland.
NASA: 5 asteroids are heading towards Earth
Asteroid 2022 FQ is a 37 meter wide asteroid and its closest approach to Earth will be 3,070,000 kilometers away. The 2016 GW221 is the largest asteroid to fly near Earth today at 40 meters wide, and it will pass 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 approaches will be at 3,850,000 and 5,510,000 kilometers. Finally, 2022 FJ1 is a 26 meter wide asteroid that will fly away from Earth at the furthest distance of 6,320,000 kilometers. If you want to know more about these asteroids, you can visit NASA’s Small Body Database. Note that due to the distance, none of these asteroids will be visible to the naked eye. You’ll need a high-powered telescope to be able to see these space rocks floating in the sky.
The Planetary Defense Coordination Office or PDCO, a wing of NASA responsible for monitoring and developing anti-asteroid strategies, is responsible for tracking these asteroids and ensuring that they follow the predicted path and do not s never approach Earth. The existence of the department in itself highlights the danger these asteroids pose to our planet and humanity.