Asteroid 2006 QV89 to zoom past earth this September (Representational Image)
New Delhi :
Earth has often been in the firing line of fragments of asteroids from the last several months. Just when we take a sigh of relief at not being affected by a predicted hit, reports start coming in from all corners warning us of other deadly asteroids that are capable enough to destroy the planet, may perform fly-bys or will hit us in near future. Amid this apprehension of an impending apocalypse, NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has started monitoring another space rock namely Asteroid 2006 QV89, which was first observed hurtling past Earth 13 years ago.
Back at that time, NASA confidently predicted a hit by 2006 QV89 in September 2019, but a lack of concrete observations resulted into uncertainty over how close it would approach our planet. Moreover, it was a bit hard for scientists to calculate its trajectory given to the fact that the asteroid was flying through the solar system at breakneck speeds of around 4.13km per second or 9,238mph (14,868kph).
Talking about their latest observations, scientists at NASA CNEOS's said, Asteroid 2006 QV89, measuring somewhere between 75.4 ft to 170.6 ft (23m to 52m) in diameter, will pass by Earth this September. However, new analysis of the asteroid’s orbital flight has ruled out th possibility of a deadly collision, adding that it will make a flyby at a very safe distance.
"The new analysis of the asteroid, called 2006 QV89, was made possible by key telescopic observations made in early July, and then again the weekend of August 10 to 11, by Dr Dave Tholen of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy," scientists stated.
"After being too distant and too faint to be detectable for over 13 years, Tholen picked the asteroid up using a wide-field camera on the 3.6-meter Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) on Mauna Kea," they added.
Asteroid QV89, whose uncertain position raised concerns among scientists, leading to consider a probability of impact this month, will appear close to Earth on the morning of Friday, September 27, 2019.