●‘Asteroid 2020 ND’ Warning
•The asteroid(about 170 metres-long) will be as close as 0.034 Astronomical Unit (AU- Astronomical Unit is the distance between the Earth and the Sun and is roughly 150 million km) to the Earth, and is travelling at a speed of 48,000 kilometres per hour.
•It is a Near-Earth Objects (NEO) and its distance from Earth has placed it in the Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHA) category.
•[NASA has issued a warning that a huge “Asteroid 2020 ND” will move past Earth on 24th July.]
•It is not necessary that asteroids classified as PHAs will impact the Earth. It only means there is a possibility of a threat.
•By monitoring these PHAs and updating their orbits as new observations, it is possible to predict the close-approach statistics and thus their Earth-impact threat
•The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is largely due to their status as relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process over 4.6 billion years ago. Therefore, they offer clues about the chemical mixture from the planets formed.
•Significantly, among all the reasons that will eventually cause the extinction of life on Earth, an asteroid hit is widely acknowledged as one of the likeliest.
Potentially Hazardous Asteroids:
•It means that an asteroid has the potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth.
•Specifically, all asteroids with a Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance (MOID) of 0.05 AU (which is about 7,480,000 Km) or less and an Absolute Magnitude (H) of 22.0 (about 150 mt in diameter) or less are considered PHAs.
•MOID is a method for calculating the minimum distance between two almost overlapping elliptical orbits.
•The absolute magnitude is a measure of the star’s luminosity i.e. the total amount of energy radiated by the star every second.