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Asteroid Twice The Size Of Big Ben To Hit Earth’s Orbit This Month, Says NASA

By: Buzz Staff

Local News Desk

Last Updated: September 05, 2022, 17:35 IST

New Delhi, India

The movement of the 160-metre-long 2008 RW is being closely monitored by NASA.

The movement of the 160-metre-long 2008 RW is being closely monitored by NASA.

Although it has whooshed past our planet infinite times earlier, this time it may be a close shave as its latest flyby is going to be closer than ever

When Leonardo Di Caprio and Jennifer Lawrence tried warning the world about an imminent apocalyptic incident, namely an asteroid crashing into earth in last year’s acclaimed film Don’t Look Up, most people disbelieved them. However, an ominously similar incident may play out in real life this very month, although it will probably not end the world, as shown in the film.

In less than two weeks, a gigantic asteroid, which is estimated to be twice the size of Big Ben, the famous clock tower in London, will collide with the Earth’s orbit. The enormous space rock, known as 2008 RW, only approaches the planet once every three to four years.

Although it has whooshed past our planet infinite times earlier, this time it may be a close shave as its latest flyby is going to be closer than ever before. On September 13, at 1.50 am, it is scheduled to enter our orbit. It will be travelling at a speed of about 10 kph. It will be passing Earth at a distance of about 6.7 million kilometres, which is close enough for the gravitational pull of the planet to be a factor in attracting 2008 RW towards its core.

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According to a Daily Star report, it is close enough to have been added to NASA’s watch list, although it is still unclear exactly where it may land if it were to strike Earth. The movement of the 160-metre-long 2008 RW is being closely monitored by NASA.

Asteroid 2008 RW was discovered on September 2, 2008, according to NASA. In 1023 days, it makes one full rotation around the Sun. The current separation of asteroid 2008 RW from Earth is 51.63 million kilometres or 0.35 astronomical units. Light travels from the asteroid 2008 RW to Earth in two minutes and 52 seconds.

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first published:September 05, 2022, 17:35 IST
last updated:September 05, 2022, 17:35 IST