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‘Asteroid 465824 2010 FR to cross Earth’s orbit soon: NASA’

  • Category
    State specifc
  • Published
    7th Sep, 2020

NASA has been tracking asteroid 465824 2010 FR, which is twice as big as the Pyramid of Giza and is expected to cross the Earth’s orbit on September 6.

Context

NASA has been tracking asteroid 465824 2010 FR, which is twice as big as the Pyramid of Giza and is expected to cross the Earth’s orbit on September 6.

About

  • It is classified as a Near-Earth Object (NEO) and a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA).
    • NEOs occasionally move close to the Earth as they orbit the Sun, and when this happens, NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Study (CNEOS) determines their distance.
      • NASA defines NEOs as comets and asteroids nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood.
      • These objects are composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles.
    • The space rock is considerably large in size and is expected to range from 120 to 270 metres in diameter.

Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a school bus or smaller
  • Will pass within 7,412,769 km of Earth in 2020
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • 2010 FR orbits the sun every 440 days (1.20 years), coming as close as 0.72 AU and reaching as far as 1.55 AU from the sun.
  • Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2010 FR is probablybetween 0.121 to 0.272 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a school bus or smaller.
  • Asteroid 465824 2010 FR was discovered on March 18, 2010 by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS).

What are Asteroids?

  • Asteroids are rocky objects that orbit the Sun, much smaller than planets. They are also called minor planets.
  • Asteroids are named by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). 
  • As per NASA, 994,383 is the count for known asteroids, the remnants from the formation of the solar system over 4.6 billion years ago.
  • Most such objects can be found in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, which is estimated to contain somewhere between 1.1-1.9 million asteroids.
    • The explanation for the concentration of asteroids in this belt comes from the formation of Jupiter, whose gravity brought an end to the formation of any planetary bodies in this region, as a result of which the smaller bodies kept colliding with each other, fragmenting into asteroids.
  • Trojans: Other than those found in the main asteroid belt, asteroids can be classified into trojans, which are asteroids that share an orbit with a larger planet.
    • NASA reports the presence of Jupiter, Neptune and Mars trojans. In 2011, they reported an Earth trojan as well.
  • Near-Earth Asteroids (NEA): The third classification of asteroids can be as Near-Earth Asteroids (NEA), which have orbits that pass close by the Earth.
    • Those that cross the Earth’s orbit are called Earth-crossers.
  • Potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs): More than 10,000 such asteroids are known, out of which over 1,400 are classified as potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs).
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