What is an asteroid?
Asteroids are small, rocky objects that orbit the sun. They are left over from the formation of the solar system and are thought to be the building blocks of planets. Most asteroids reside in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. However, some asteroids do come close to Earth.
Asteroids have hit Earth before and they will hit Earth again. Scientists have been tracking asteroids for years and they have found that there is a big one headed our way. But, don’t worry, they have also found that it will miss us by a long shot.
The closest-known approaching asteroid is called Florence. It is about 4 kilometers in diameter and will pass by Earth on September 1, 2023. It will come within about 7 million kilometers of our planet, which is about 18 times the distance from Earth to the moon.
There are four main types of asteroids: C-type, S-type, M-type, and P-type. C-type asteroids are the most common type of asteroid and make up about 75% of known asteroids. They are dark in color and contain a lot of carbon. S-type asteroids make up about 17% of known asteroids and are brighter than C-type asteroids. They contain silicates and metals such as iron and nickel. M-type asteroids make up about 6% of known asteroids and are metallic in composition.
The next big asteroid to hit Earth
The next big asteroid to hit Earth could be Apophis, which is an asteroid that is about the size of three football fields. It was discovered in 2004 and will make a close approach to Earth in 2029. There is a small chance that it could hit Earth, but scientists are still studying its orbit to see if that is a possibility.
Another asteroid that could hit Earth is called Bennu. It is about the size of a mountain and was discovered in 1999. Its orbit brings it very close to Earth every six years, and there is a chance that it could hit our planet in 2135. However, scientists are still studying its orbit and trying to determine the exact likelihood of an impact.
These are just two of the asteroids that have been identified as potentially hazardous to Earth. There are plenty more out there, and we have found a lot of them – but not all.
The Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona is one of many asteroid-tracking projects around the world that are helping to keep track of potentially hazardous asteroids.
When will it hit?
Asteroids are unpredictable. Scientists can track them and make predictions about their trajectories, but there is always the possibility that one could veer off course and head towards Earth. If an asteroid is headed towards our planet, there is not much we can do to stop it. We would have to hope that it would burn up in the atmosphere or break apart into smaller pieces that would cause less damage. The next big asteroid to hit Earth could be in a few years or a few hundred years. It all depends on the size of the asteroid and where it is headed.
Where will it hit?
Asteroids are hurtling through space at high speeds and sometimes they come close to Earth. Some people are worried that one might hit our planet. But don’t worry, there are ways to predict where an asteroid will go.
Scientists use telescopes to track asteroids. They can calculate the orbit of an asteroid and predict where it will be at a certain time. They also use computers to model what will happen if an asteroid were to hit Earth. By doing this, they can figure out where it would land and how much damage it would cause.
Right now, there are no known asteroids that are on a collision course with Earth. But that doesn’t mean one won’t come close in the future. That’s why it’s important for scientists to keep track of them.
How can we stop it?
There are a few things we can do to stop an asteroid from hitting Earth. We can try to destroy it with a nuclear weapon, but that might not work and could create more problems than it solves. We can also try to deflect it with a massive object, like a spacecraft, but that’s very expensive and difficult to do.
The best thing we can do is to try to detect asteroids early and then take action to deflect or destroy them before they get too close to Earth. There are several organizations working on this, including NASA, the European Space Agency, and private companies like Planetary Resources.
We still have a long way to go before we’re able to defend ourselves against all asteroids, but it’s important work that could one day save the planet from a devastating impact.
NASA plans to crash a spacecraft into an asteroid in order to test a new plan. The plan is designed to help protect Earth from future asteroid impacts.
The spacecraft, called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), is scheduled to launch in 2021. It will target an asteroid called Didymos, which is scheduled to pass close to Earth in 2022.
When DART hits the asteroid, it will create a small crater. This will change the asteroid’s orbit and provide data that will help scientists better understand how to deflect future asteroids.
The DART mission is part of NASA’s planetary defense program, which is designed to protect Earth from potentially harmful space objects. In addition to DART, the program includes other projects like the Sentinel Space Telescope and the Planetary Defense Coordination Office.
Asteroids are a very real threat to our planet, and we need to be prepared. The next big asteroid to hit Earth could be devastating, and we need to be ready. We need to have a plan in place to deal with this threat, and we need to act now.