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Newly Discovered Skyscraper-Sized Asteroid To Pass Earth On Halloween

A newly discovered asteroid, known as 2022 RM4, is expected to pass Earth at 52,500 mph, or about 68 times the speed of sound, late Halloween night or early Tuesday, reported USA Today

According to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies, 2022 RM4 has an estimated diameter of 1,083-2,428 feet, or about the size of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper. 

The asteroid will pass surprisingly close to Earth — at about six times the Earth-Moon distance — or about 143 million miles. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has classified it as a Near Earth Object (NEO) and a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA). 

“This is very close for an asteroid this size,” tweeted amateur astronomer Tony Dunn. 

USA Today said astronomers at the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System in Haleakala, Hawaii, discovered 2022 RM4 on Sept. 12. 

The asteroid will be close enough to Earth that astronomers can record footage of it passing using telescopes. 

NASA said Earth faces no immediate danger from 2022 RM4. But in the future, Earth could face a possible apocalyptic asteroid collision with other NEOs. To prevent this, the space agency is preparing to strengthen planetary defenses

In late September, the space agency successfully slammed a spacecraft into a non-hazardous asteroid Dimorphos and knocked it off course. The future of safeguarding Earth from asteroids could come from NASA and other space agencies catapulting suicide spacecraft into NEOs.

This post was originally published on this site

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