NASA has recently shared information about an asteroid called 2008 QY that will pass near Earth on October 3rd. Although the asteroid will come close to our planet, it is not expected to impact the surface. According to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), its closest approach will be at a distance of approximately 6.3 million kilometers.
Asteroid 2008 QY is classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) by NASA. This classification is given to asteroids that are both within 7.5 million kilometers of Earth and larger than 492 meters in size. With a width of almost 2,200 feet, this asteroid is comparable in size to a large bridge.
Belonging to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, asteroid 2008 QY is classified as a space rock that crosses Earth’s orbit with a semi-major axis larger than Earth’s. The Apollo group is named after the massive asteroid Apollo 1862, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.
Although it does not pose a direct threat, these PHAs remind us of the devastating potential that large asteroids can have. The impact of a giant asteroid nearly 65 million years ago played a significant role in the extinction of the dinosaurs and the reshaping of terrestrial ecosystems.
Fortunately, NASA and other space agencies now have telescopes and advanced technology to detect and track potentially hazardous asteroids. These instruments allow scientists to monitor their trajectories and provide early warnings if necessary.
As our understanding of asteroids continues to improve, efforts are being made to develop systems to deflect or redirect any threatening asteroid that may be on a collision course with Earth. Although the chances of impact are low, the ability to predict and mitigate potential risks is crucial for the safety and well-being of our planet.
– Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS)