- NET Web Desk
The National Aeronautics of Space Administration (NASA)’ Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has identified the 1000th Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA).
Named as 2021 PJ1, the radars picked the asteroid while it passed at a distance of just 1.7 million kms away from Earth.
According to NASA, although the asteroid did not pose any danger to the planet, its remote size stood difficult to be tracked.
Initial radar observations showed it to be between 65 and 100 feet wide.
Despite its small size, the asteroid managed to get its name recorded in history books as the 1000th near-earth object to cross the planet.
JPL successfully picked up the 1001st object as it appeared close to Earth.
An object larger than before, 2021 PJ1 is a small asteroid.
So, when it passed us at a distance of over a million miles, the radars struggled to obtain a detailed radar imagery.
The radar detection of asteroids commenced in 1968, thereby helping to understand the NEO orbits.
It further provides data that can extend calculations of future motion by decades to centuries.
Such detections help definitively predict if an asteroid is going to hit Earth, or if it’s just going to pass close by.
Of the almost 27,000 known near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) in our solar system, only a fraction of them come close to our planet to be studied by planetary radar. Now, radar has hit a historic milestone with the observation of its 1,000th NEA since 1968: https://t.co/wjynhPAvGY pic.twitter.com/quto8PWTtd
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) September 4, 2021