“Asteroid 2000 Em26”: Potentially hazardous space rock safely passed by Earth

The space rock, known as 2000 EM26, poses no threat and passed the Earth at just under nine times the distance to the moon. Though, it is defined as a potentially hazardous Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) that was large enough to cause significant damage in the event of an impact.

  • This was subtle reminder of the dangers of the asteroid impacts just one year after historic event took place on February, 2013.
  • A previous-unknown discovered asteroid exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia and injured 1200 people and sent shock waves shattering windows and damaging buildings in Chelyabinsk. 
About Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) 2000 EM26
  • Size: As big as three football fields (270m).
  • Speed: Approx 12.37 km/s.
  • Minor planet category: Aten asteroid (NEO, PHO).
  • Minimum possible close approach distance to Earth: 0.018 AU (27 lakh km).
  • Tracked by:  Slooh robotic telescope service, Spain (that provided internet access to automated observatories).
Nasa’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)
  • First-ever mission to identify, capture and redirect an asteroid.
  • Plans to use capabilities of the new Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket and high-power solar electric propulsion to capture an asteroid in the near future.

Till now, 10,713 known near-Earth objects are discovered.

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Categories: International Current Affairs 2017Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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