This asteroid just missed Earth. Here’s all about it.
The asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 OE2 whizzed past Earth in the early hours of August 4, at 12:23 a.m. (ET).
Although NASA’s astronomers keep a check on all Near-Earth objects (NEOs) for any potential danger towards Earth, Asteroid 2022 OE2 managed to evade them and was discovered just a couple of days ago. The asteroid passed Earth at a distance of nearly 5.1 million kilometers.
The Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are monitored by NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office which monitors the sky with telescopes and keeps a track of upcoming flybys. Keeping a track of these NEOs has become relatively easy with the advancement of technology. With the help of advanced telescopes, more than 750,000 asteroids have been discovered to date out of which over 27,000 are near-Earth asteroids.
The asteroid was between 557 and 1,246 feet in width, which is twice the length on an American football field. It was confirmed that it belonged to the Apollo group of asteroids which are Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) with perihelion distances less than 1.017 AU, and semi-major axis greater than 1 AU.
This is not the first time that an asteroid has passed Earth closely this year. On May 9, Asteroid Asteroid 467460 (2006 JF42), flew close past Earth. Then, on April 28, Asteroid 418135 (2008 AG33), passed by our planet. Just a couple of days ago, an Asteroid named Asteroid 2022 OX3 passed Earth in close proximity at 6:45pm on August 2.