Asteroid 2018 PN22 (File Photo)
Earlier this week, News Nation reported that a giant asteroid dubbed as ‘2019 OU1’ approaching towards the Earth. And now, another asteroid named as 2018 PN22 will approach dangerously towards Earth on August 17 at 7:16 pm (ST). Yes, you read it right. Earth is going to have yet another close encounter with a space rock. Don’t worry, asteroid 2018 PN22 will not hit the Earth and we all are safe. Asteroids are small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun. The space rocks (asteroids) approach towards the Earth due to the gravitational forces that affect them. Asteroids can bring tsunamis, shock waves and flattening winds that could be catastrophic.
Talking specifically about asteroid 2018 PN22, the space rock is about 62 feet long (size of a school bus) and is currently approaching towards Earth at a velocity of 5,000 miles per hour. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), asteroid 2018 PN22 will fly from a distance of 0.04385 astronomical units or roughly 4 million miles away.
It is worth mentioning here that the asteroid 2018 PN22 asteroids hasn’t been tagged as a potentially hazardous asteroid and doesn’t indicate any chances of future collision. However, NASA JPL has classified 2018 PN22 as a "Near Earth Asteroid" due to its orbit's proximity to Earth. Asteroid 2018 PN22 was last officially observed on September 7, 2018.
Recently, many deadly asteroids including 2019 OK, 2019 OD, 2015 HM10, 2019 OE, 2019 NN3, 2019 MB4, 2019 MT2, 2006 QV89, 2016 NO56M, RF12 and others approached towards the Earth, fortunately did not hit our planet. It is said that one day all life on the Earth will be extinct. Not only life, but the Earth will also extinct someday and an asteroid could be the possible reason. However, as of now we are safe.
Importantly, four other asteroids named as 2016 PD, 2002 JR100 and 2019 OU1 will fly past the Earth in August this year. According to a report published by spacetelescope.org, there are more than 7 lakh asteroids that have been found in space. Asteroids are mainly found in an area called the ‘main belt’, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
In related news, on December 18 last year, a large meteoroid was exploded over the Bering Sea, however, it went unnoticed due to the remote location. According to the NASA, the explosion of meteoroid unleashed around 173 kilotons of energy, more than 10 times that of the atomic bomb blast over Hiroshima in World War II. Also, it was the most powerful explosion in the atmosphere since the fireball that burst over the Russian town of Chelyabinsk in 2013. That was 440 kilotons and left 1,500 people injured, mostly from glass flying out of smashed windows.