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Monstrous asteroid to speed by Earth next week


A large "potentially hazardous asteroid" is expected to swing fewer than six lunar distances from Earth at the beginning of next month. 

The asteroid, known as 2022 RM4, is expected to pass by Earth on Nov. 1 – about 1.5 million miles away at its closest point.

According to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies, the asteroid has an estimated diameter of between 330 and 740 meters, or up to over 2,400 feet.

It will pass by the blue planet at around 52,500 miles per hour, according to LiveScience. 

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An asteroid over Earth

An asteroid over Earth (iStock)

Any space object that comes within 120 million miles of Earth is deemed a "near-Earth object." 

Any large body within 4.6 million miles of Earth is classified with the astronomical term: a "potentially hazardous asteroid." 

In this image made available by NASA, debris ejects from the asteroid Dimorphos, right, a few minutes after the intentional collision of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission on Sept. 26, 2022, captured by the nearby Italian Space Agency’s LICIACube. On Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2022l, NASA said the spacecraft succeeded in shifting its orbit. 

In this image made available by NASA, debris ejects from the asteroid Dimorphos, right, a few minutes after the intentional collision of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission on Sept. 26, 2022, captured by the nearby Italian Space Agency’s LICIACube. On Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2022l, NASA said the spacecraft succeeded in shifting its orbit.  (ASI/NASA via AP)

2022 RM4 is also an Apollo-type asteroid, which is a class of objects named for asteroid 1862 Apollo.

Such asteroids have an orbit that is larger than Earth’s orbit around the sun and their path crosses Earth’s path. 

2002 RM4 orbits the Sun every 1,397 days and its path does occasionally cross Earth’s orbital path around the Sun.

This imagery from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope from Oct. 8, 2022, shows the debris blasted from the surface of Dimorphos 285 hours after the asteroid was intentionally impacted by NASA’s DART spacecraft on Sept. 26. 

This imagery from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope from Oct. 8, 2022, shows the debris blasted from the surface of Dimorphos 285 hours after the asteroid was intentionally impacted by NASA’s DART spacecraft on Sept. 26.  (NASA/ESA/STScI/Hubble)

According to NASA, Earth faces no known dangerfrom an apocalyptic asteroid collision for at least the next century.

In addition, the agency's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft recently redirected the non-hazardous asteroid Dimorphos by sending it off course.



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