NASA confirms asteroid nearly 2,500 feet wide will approach Earth very soon

NASA's asteroid-tracking database has confirmed the existence of a massive asteroid estimated to be nearly 2,500 feet wide approaching Earth soon.

NASA confirms asteroid nearly 2,500 feet wide will approach Earth very soon
Published Oct 27, 2022 6:25 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 15 2022 10:33 PM CST
2 minutes & 11 seconds read time

Astronomers have recently discovered a very large asteroid that has been classified as "potentially hazardous", and it will be making an approach with Earth quite soon.

NASA confirms asteroid nearly 2,500 feet wide will approach Earth very soon 02

NASA has added the asteroid called 2022 RM4 to its Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) database, where it states its estimated diameter, speed, and the closest it will come to Earth during its closest approach. According to the database, 2022 RM4 is anywhere between 1,083 feet to 2,428 feet in diameter, which puts it just under the height of the tallest building in the world, Dubai's Burj Khalifa.

The CNEOS database states the very large asteroid will pass Earth at extremely fast speeds, traveling at an estimated 52,500 mph, which is about 68 times the speed of sound. Notably, 2022 RM4 poses no risk to Earth at all as astronomers estimate that it will pass Earth at a safe distance of 1.43 million miles, or about six times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon. So, why is 2022 RM4 classified as "potentially hazardous"?

It's quite simple, 1.43 million miles isn't a very far distance at all when considering the scale of the cosmos, or even the solar system. NASA officially classifies any object that comes within 120 million miles of Earth's orbit as a "near-Earth object," and if that object is large and travels within 4.65 million miles of Earth, it's further classified as "potentially hazardous". While these distances may seem extreme when thinking about travel on Earth, in space, they aren't.

2022 RM4 isn't the only near-Earth object NASA is tracking, as its database exceeds more than 28,000 asteroids and counting. Adding to the total is NASA's Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS), which scans the sky every 24 hours for new objects. Despite the large number of asteroids that have been discovered already, 15,000 of them were only discovered in the last 10 years, leading researchers to believe that many more are still undiscovered, as 2022 RM4 was until just a few days ago.

Luckily, NASA believes that all asteroids capable of causing an extinction-level event have already been discovered and that Earth is safe for at least the next 100 years. For more on the possible dangers of asteroids, check out the below link.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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