A supersonic asteroid 10 times faster than a bullet is heading toward Earth

Sep, 2022 - by CMI

The Earth will be passed by a tiny supersonic asteroid on September 6, tuesday with a speed of 10 times that of a bullet as NASA's asteroid tracker has shared.


The maximum width of Asteroid 2022 QC7 is 36 metres, or about half the width of a Boeing 767. However, it travels at a speed that is ten times that of a NATO rifle bullet.


The asteroid in question is rather tiny and has been given the designation 2022 QC7 by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).


According to NASA, the size of asteroid 2022 QC7 ranges from just 16 metres to 36 metres in width. For contrast, the wingspan of a Boeing 767 is around half that of 36 metres.


Asteroid 2022 QC7, however, is also approaching quickly, hurtling toward Earth at a speed of about 9.10 kilometres per second, or 32,760 miles per hour. That is comparable to over 27 times the speed of sound and is roughly 10 times faster than the typical 5.56 x 45 mm NATO rifle bullet, to put it in context.


NASA has stated that the asteroid 2022 QC7, which will pass the Earth at a distance of more than 4.6 million kilometres, has virtually no chance of colliding with it.


This is a lot farther when you consider that the Moon circles the Earth on average at a distance of 384,000 kilometres. But even if asteroid 2022 QC7 were to strike Earth, it wouldn't have much of an impact.


The Weizmann Institute of Science at Israel's educational division, the Davidson Institute of Science, conducted studies that show an asteroid with a diameter of at least 140 meters will strike Earth and emit energy at least 1,000 times larger than the first atomic bomb.