Mysterious Object Unexpectedly Passes VERY Close to Earth
(FeaturedNews.com) – The Weather Channel called it a “master of hide and seek.” After all, how does an asteroid approximately the size of a bus go undetected? On July 4, scientists got a glimpse of the answer as a previously uncharted chunk of space rock appeared, tumbling near Earth.
Now dubbed 2022 NF, the tiny asteroid — yes, a bus is tiny in asteroid terms — poses no threat to civilization. Its trajectory will bring the celestial object about a quarter of the distance between the Earth and the Moon away, or about 90,000 kilometers (55923 miles). Even if it were to suddenly change course and become stuck in earth’s gravity, it would likely burn up completely upon entering the atmosphere.
— Matthew Lance (@LlMatthew) July 8, 2022
The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) first spotted the object. The system, located in Maui, Hawaii, collects data vital to programs designed to deflect dangerous asteroids away from the planet. NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), for example, is on its way to another asteroid to study whether or not a collision could possibly redirect a planet-killer like the one that hit the Yucatan 65 million years ago.
If successful, the threat of extinction-level events from massive asteroids may be able to stay in Hollywood. The 2022 NF, however, just shows that something that large could slip in under the radar.
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