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NASA says 120-foot asteroid will pass Earth by just 5.2 mn km; Know how fast it is moving

A Near-Earth Asteroid has been tracked in its orbit and it will come as close as 5.2 million kilometers to Earth today, February 28, NASA has revealed. Know all about this close encounter with the asteroid.

Updated on: Feb 28 2024, 09:22 IST
Asteroid 2024 CE7 belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), says NASA. (Pixabay )

Like previous months, February has witnessed multiple asteroid approaches. While an asteroid did not pass Earth yesterday, NASA says that two asteroids will come close to the planet today, February 28. The asteroids were tracked with the help of advanced tech marvels such as the NEOWISE telescope, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), Pans-STARRS1, and Catalina Sky Survey. While the asteroid will come close to Earth, it is not expected to impact the surface, the US Space Agency has further revealed. Know the details of this close encounter with Asteroid 2024 CE7.

Asteroid 2024 CE7: Close approach details

NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has designated the asteroid as Asteroid 2024 CE7. It will pass Earth today at a distance of approximately 5.2 million kilometers. The US Space Agency says it is already travelling towards Earth in its orbit at 69645 kilometers per hour which is even faster than a space shuttle! It is one of the two asteroids passing the planet today, with the other one being Asteroid 2024 CC7.

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Also Read: Two asteroids to pass by Earth today

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This space rock belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, which are Earth-crossing space rocks with semi-major axes larger than Earth's. These asteroids are named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.

Other details

NASA has also revealed that Asteroid 2024 CE7 has not passed Earth before and this will be its first-ever close approach. After today, this Apollo group asteroid is not expected to pass by the planet anytime in the near future.

Is it dangerous?

NASA says that this asteroid does not threaten Earth due to its relatively small size. With a width of 120 feet, Asteroid 2024 CE7 is as big as an aircraft. On the other hand, asteroids bigger than 492 feet and which pass Earth closer than 7.5 million kilometers are classified as ‘Potentially Hazardous Objects’.

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First Published Date: 28 Feb, 09:22 IST