1.8 km: Giant asteroid flies past Earth today
Today the largest asteroid of 2022 flies past the earth at 76,000 km/h. It is 1.8 kilometers tall and is classified as “potentially dangerous” by NASA.
Biggest asteroid of the year flies past Earth on Friday
© Dima Zel/Shutterstock.com
This Friday, May 27, 2022, another asteroid will fly relatively close to Earth. What is special about this candidate is its enormous size: the chunk from space is 1.8 kilometers long. This makes it the largest asteroid to fly past Earth in 2022.
The asteroid has the scientific designation 7335 (1989 JA) and you can find its entry in an astronomical database here. It flies past the earth at 76,000 km/h, but as said at least at a distance of probably 4 million kilometers. That’s about ten times the distance between the earth and the moon. So there’s no need to rush to cancel your life insurance or sell your stocks to live in the lap of luxury for the few days until Friday.
NASA: Potentially dangerous
Despite the reassuringly large distance, NASA classifies the asteroid as “potentially dangerous.” Because of its size, it would cause significant damage if it hit the ground. That could be the case once it changes its orbit around the sun. In addition, this asteroid is one of the “Near Earth Objects” asteroids ( NEOs ), which come comparatively close to the earth and therefore have to be observed. 7335 (1989 JA) should not be taken lightly, even if there is no acute danger for next Friday.
These are NEOs…
Currently, just over 29,999 items are considered “NEOs”. For this rating, you should be no more than 30 million miles from Earth. However, most of these “NEOs” are very small. 7335 (1989 JA), on the other hand, is larger than 99 percent of all other “NEOs”.
…and these are Apollos
In addition, 7335 (1989 JA) is an Apollo-class asteroid. This means chunks that regularly cross the orbit of the earth.
Because the asteroid 7335 (1989 JA) moves in an orbit around the sun, as is usual for asteroids. In other words, at some point it will approach Earth again. This closest approach is said to be on June 23, 2055. Until then, however, it could change its orbit – although the previous course calculations provide no evidence of this; on the contrary, in 2055 the distance to Earth should be even greater. Hopefully by then there will already be techniques to defend against dangerous asteroids. NASA and ESA, among others, have been researching this for some time.