120-foot Asteroid 2023 UR1 to pass close to Earth today; know what NASA revealed
NASA has revealed that an asteroid designated as 2023 UR1 is on its way to pass Earth at its closest point today.
Do you know how many asteroids NASA scientists have tracked to date? Approximately 1,298,148 asteroids have been identified by NASA. The space agency employs a range of advanced ground and space-based telescopes for tracking and researching these cosmic rocks, primarily concentrated within the asteroid belt situated between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Telescopes and observatories such as NEOWISE, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), Pan-STARRS1, and the Catalina Sky Survey play pivotal roles in the study of asteroids and the mitigation of uncertainties surrounding their close encounters with Earth.
In a recent development, NASA has disclosed that an asteroid designated as 2023 UR1 is on its way to pass Earth at its closest point today.
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Asteroid 2023 UR1
NASA's ongoing efforts to track and study asteroids have led to an intriguing development. Today, on October 21, 2023, an asteroid known as 2023 UR1 is set to make its closest approach to Earth. NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has provided key details about this celestial visitor.
The 120-foot Asteroid 2023 UR1 is estimated to come within a distance of about 834,000 kilometers to Earth. While this might sound far in human terms, in terms of space and universe, it's considered a relatively close approach.
The asteroid will zoom past Earth at an astonishing relative velocity of 29,557 kilometers per hour. Astronomers first observed Asteroid 2023 UR1 on October 17, 2023, just a few days before its closest approach. The last observation was made on October 19.
Categorically, this asteroid belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids, a class known for its Earth-crossing orbits. It's worth noting that this asteroid is as large as an aircraft.
NASA's Lucy Spacecraft
NASA's Lucy spacecraft is gearing up for its inaugural asteroid flyby on November 1st. Its target, asteroid Dinkinesh, measures under half a mile in width and resides in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Lucy, on a 12-year mission, plans to visit 10 asteroids, including Trojan asteroids sharing Jupiter's orbit. Rather than orbiting, it will execute flybys to gather data.
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