Huge asteroid TWICE the size of the Burj Khalifa will pass Earth on Friday

A huge asteroid TWICE the size of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, will pass Earth on Friday – and is the largest space rock to arrive at us in 2022

  • The asteroid, named 7335 (1989 JA) measures 1.1 miles in diameter
  • The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, stands just over 0.5 miles tall
  • NASA has classified the asteroid as “potentially hazardous”
  • However, it is extremely unlikely to pose a threat to our planet, passing at a distance of about 2.5 million miles.

Measuring just over half a mile (2,722 feet) tall, the Burj Khalifa has been the tallest building in the world since it was built in 2004.

But the huge building in Dubai is nothing compared to an asteroid that is expected to pass Earth this week.

The asteroid, named 7335 (1989 JA) measures 1.8 km in diameter and will pass in front of our planet on Friday.

Although NASA has classified the asteroid as “potentially dangerous”, it is extremely unlikely to pose a threat to our planet, passing at a distance of about 2.5 million miles (4 million kilometers).

To put that into context, that’s almost 10 times the average distance between Earth and the Moon.

The asteroid, named 7335 (1989 JA) measures a whopping 1.1 miles (1.8 km) in diameter, and will pass by our planet on Friday

The asteroid, named 7335 (1989 JA) measures a whopping 1.1 miles (1.8 km) in diameter, and will pass by our planet on Friday

Dubai's enormous Burj Khalifa stands just over 0.5 miles tall, but pales in comparison to an asteroid expected to pass Earth this week

Dubai’s enormous Burj Khalifa stands just over 0.5 miles tall, but pales in comparison to an asteroid expected to pass Earth this week

What is a “potentially dangerous” asteroid?

A Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) is an asteroid whose orbit approaches Earth within 0.05 AU (about 7.5 million km).

It is also at least 100 meters (300 feet) in diameter.

The International Astronomical Union says there are around 1,500 potentially dangerous asteroids.

Although not yet a risk to Earth, asteroids of this size could wreak havoc if they land on our planet, especially in highly populated areas.

It is believed that the Earth is struck once every 200 to 300 years.

The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at 2:26 p.m. UTC on Friday, according to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies, which tracks space rocks.

At this point, the asteroid will be 0.026 astronomical units (2.5 million miles) from Earth and moving at a staggering speed of around 29,348 miles per hour.

That’s about 14.5 times faster than a bullet!

At about 1.1 miles (1.8 kilometers) in diameter, 7335 (1989 JA) will be the largest space rock to pass Earth this year, according to NASA.

Although the chances of this asteroid hitting Earth are extremely low, NASA has not ruled out the risks of an asteroid collision in the near future.

NASA discovers around 30 new “Near-Earth Objects” (NEOs) every week, and by early 2019 had discovered a total of more than 19,000 objects.

However, the space agency has warned that its NEO catalog is not complete, meaning an unforeseen impact could occur “at any time”.

NASA explained: “Experts estimate that an impact from an object the size of the one that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013 – about 55 feet (17 meters) in size – will occur a or twice a century.

“Impacts of larger objects should be much less frequent (on the scale of centuries or millennia).

“However, given the current incompleteness of the NEO catalog, an unforeseen impact – such as the Chelyabinsk event – could occur at any time.”

To help prepare for such an impact, NASA recently launched its first-ever “planetary defense” spacecraft to deflect an asteroid 6.8 million miles from Earth.

The $325m (£240m) DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission launched in November 2021 and will take 10 months to complete its nearly seven million mile journey through deep space.

The probe will crash into the small asteroid Dimorphos, which orbits a larger asteroid called Didymos, at 15,000 mph (24,100 km/h) in September 2022.

When the 1,210-pound space probe hits Dimorphos, the plan is to alter the speed of the “moonlet” by a fraction of a percent, echoing the plot of Bruce Willis’ film “Armageddon.”

Although the 525-foot-wide space rock poses no danger to Earth, NASA wants to measure the asteroid’s altered orbit caused by the collision.

This demonstration of “planetary defense” will inform future missions that may one day save Earth from a deadly asteroid impact.

WHAT IS NASA’S DART MISSION?

DART will be the world’s first planetary defense test mission.

It is heading towards the small lunar asteroid Dimorphos, which orbits a larger companion asteroid called Didymos.

When it gets there, it will intentionally crash into the asteroid to slightly alter its orbit.

Although neither asteroid poses a threat to Earth, the kinetic DART impact will prove that a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and kinetically impact it.

Then, using ground-based telescopes to measure the effects of the impact on the asteroid system, the mission will improve modeling and prediction capabilities to help us better prepare for a real asteroid threat should it ever arise. be discovered.

DART will arrive at Dimorphos in October 2022, where it will deliberately crash into the asteroid at speeds of 15,000 mph.  This collision will change the speed of Dimorphos in its orbit around Didymos by a fraction of one percent, changing the orbital period by several minutes.

DART will arrive at Dimorphos in October 2022, where it will deliberately crash into the asteroid at speeds of 15,000 mph. This collision will change the speed of Dimorphos in its orbit around Didymos by a fraction of one percent, changing the orbital period by several minutes.

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