Asteroid 2002 JR100 (File Photo)
These days you must be hearing lot about asteroids. In fact, News Nation has recently reported that at least nine massive asteroids will be approaching dangerously towards Earth this year and among them one is 2002 JR100. Well, Earth already had a close encounter with asteroid 2002 JR100 today early morning. Yes, you read it right. However, we were really fortunate that the asteroid 2002 JR100 did not collide with our planet and we are safe. Notably, this asteroid would have definitely harmed the mankind, if it would have collided with our planet. Asteroids (space rocks) are small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun. Although asteroids orbit the Sun like planets, they are much smaller than planets. You must be aware that asteroids, if hit Earth, can bring massive destruction to our planet and also to human life. The effects of an asteroid strike including tsunamis, shock waves and flattening winds, could be catastrophic. Asteroids can approach towards the Earth due to the gravitational forces that affect them. Therefore, our fortune can be turned into misfortune anytime. However, as of now, we are safe.
Coming back to asteroid 2002 JR100, the 269-feet-long space rock zoom past the Earth on August 28 at 4:07 am (IST) at a speed of 10,400 miles per hour. According to the NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the closest asteroid 2002 JR100 to Earth was just under 0.04963 astronomical units or roughly 4.6 million miles from the Earthâ€™s centre. Well, you can say it was a safe distance, but still much less than the distance between the Earth and Moon.
It is worth mentioning here that 2002 JR100 is an Aten asteroid. As it orbits the Sun, this asteroid frequently intersects with the path of Earth as it approaches its farthest distance from the giant star.
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.