Mumbai, February 13: Valentine's Day, typically celebrated as a day of love, will witness a different kind of cosmic event this year as asteroid 2024 BR4 is set to make a close approach to Earth on February 14. Measuring a staggering 560 feet, this building-sized space rock is hurtling towards Earth at an astonishing speed of 44880 kilometres per hour. Despite its immense size and close proximity, the asteroid is expected to pass at a safe distance of 2.86 million miles.
As per multiple reports, NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has classified 2024 BR4 as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) due to its significant size and its passage within 4.6 million miles of Earth. While the likelihood of a collision remains low, efforts are underway to monitor and track near-Earth objects (NEOs) to mitigate potential risks. Following the Chelyabinsk asteroid explosion over Russia a decade ago, which caused widespread damage and injuries, international efforts have intensified to enhance planetary defence. Asteroid Warning! NASA Issues Alert As Three Asteroids Approaching Earth Today; Know If They Will Strike Our Planet.
According to multiple reports, organisations like the International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN) and the Space Mission Planning Advisory Group (SMPAG) have played pivotal roles in coordinating global responses to asteroid threats. IAWN, led by NASA, monitors and models NEOs, providing crucial data to SMPAG and national governments for planning reactive space missions and civil disaster responses. Meanwhile, SMPAG, chaired by the European Space Agency (ESA), evaluates the feasibility of spacecraft missions to study, deflect, or destroy incoming asteroids. Asteroid Alert! Doomsday Fears Grow As NASA Says Three Giant Asteroids To Fly Past Earth, Check Dates and Other Details Inside.
Looking ahead, ESA is preparing for the close approach of asteroid Apophis in 2029, developing mission concepts and leveraging technologies like the Hera mission to study and potentially deflect the asteroid. Additionally, proposed projects like ESA's NEOMIR space-based telescope aim to enhance early detection capabilities by scanning the sky for previously undetectable threats. With continued international collaboration and advancements in technology, humanity is better equipped than ever to detect and respond to potential celestial dangers, ensuring the safety and security of our planet.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 13, 2024 07:31 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).