120-foot asteroid set to pass Earth today, reveals NASA; Know how close it will get
Using its various tech instruments, NASA has shed light on an asteroid that is expected to pass Earth by a close margin today, February 1. Know its speed, size, distance of approach, and other details, as per the US Space Agency.
Another day, another asteroid flyby. That was the case last month with an asteroid approaching Earth almost every other day, and February is expected to continue the trend. Using its advanced ground and space-based telescopes such as the NEOWISE telescope, Pans-STARRS1, and Catalina Sky Survey, NASA has revealed that two asteroids will be passing Earth at close distances today, February 1. The US Space Agency says one of the asteroids is almost as big as an aircraft! Know all about this close encounter with the asteroid today.
Asteroid 2003 BM4: Details
The asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2003 BM4 by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), is travelling towards Earth in its orbit at a breakneck speed of 39102 kilometers per hour, which is much faster than an Intercontinental Ballistic Missle (ICBM)! NASA expects this space rock to fly past Earth at a close margin of approximately 3.3 million kilometers today.
While this asteroid will pass by closely, it isn't big enough to cause panic or any potential damage. As per NASA, the asteroid is approximately 130 feet wide, making it almost as big as an aircraft! However, if it crashes on Earth, it could still cause damage to a certain degree. In 2013, a smaller 59-foot asteroid exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk in Russia, damaging 7000 buildings and injuring over 1000 people injured.
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.
NASA has also revealed that Asteroid 2003 BM4 has passed Earth before and this is not its first approach. It first passed Earth on February 5, 1903, at a distance of about 12 million kilometers. After today, it will come close to the planet again on January 13, 2028, at a distance of nearly 55 million kilometers.
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