Another day, another asteroid. On Friday, NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has logged a new asteroid that is approaching our planet within the minimum vicinity of approach, i.e. 7.5 million kilometres from the planet. The asteroid, called 2022 QD1, is set to fly past our planet in the evening hours of today, India time. While the asteroid is distant enough to ensure that there is no risk to life as we know it, this marks one of over 30 instances of close-Earth approaches — making this a fairly busy month for NASA’s asteroid tracker.
How Big is the Asteroid 2022 QD1
According to the CNEOS tracker, the asteroid 2022 QD1 measures 427 feet in diameter. In size, it is even larger than the full length of a professional football pitch, which makes the asteroid a fairly large one — although not among the largest ones that we know exist.
2022 QD1 approaches Earth at around 7.45 million kilometres from Earth in its closest orbit to our planet. The approach comes at a speed of over 34,000 kilometres per hour — a speed mark that is over 28 times that of the speed of sound.
While such a large object coming close to Earth at such speed would otherwise be alarming, the distance is distant enough to ensure that there is no potential danger to life on Earth. Our history with such approaches have seen a cataclysmic incident already, with a near-mass extinction event wiping out more than 90 percent of life out due to a crash more than 65 million years ago. The extinction event most notably killed the mighty species of dinosaurs, which lends credence to the kind of risk that a close approach of a space object can put on us.
A bigger alarm would come our way on Sunday, September 18, when asteroid 2005 RX3 approaches us at 4.7 million kilometres from us. The 690-feet rock will fly by us at an incredible speed of 63,000 kilometres per hour — and is even rated as a rare occurrence.
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