130-foot asteroid hurtling towards Earth for a close approach TODAY, says NASA
NASA has tracked Asteroid 2023 QC8 rushing towards Earth in its orbit for a close approach today, October 5. Know details such as its speed, size, distance of approach, and more.
Asteroids often pass Earth at close distances, posing a threat to the planet with their terrifying approaches. Most of them might seem like they're just floating rocks in space, but did you know asteroids have differing compositions? These space rocks can be classified into 3 types based on their structural composition. The most commonly found asteroids are S-type, which are made up of carbon-rich substances. On the other hand, S-type asteroids are made up mainly of silicate minerals and are less common. M-type asteroids are the least prevalent and they are primarily composed of metal.
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Asteroid 2023 QC8: Details of close approach
With the help of its advanced ground and space-based telescopes, NASA has tracked an asteroid whose orbit will bring it very close to Earth today. As per the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), an asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2023 QC8, is on its way toward Earth and could make its closest approach to the planet today, October 5.
This near-Earth space rock is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 6 million kilometers and at a speed of 22741 kilometers per hour which is much faster than Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)!
According to NASA, this space rock belongs to the Amor group of Near-Earth Asteroids which are Earth-approaching near-Earth asteroids with orbits exterior to Earth but interior to Mars', named after asteroid 1221 Amor, which was discovered by Belgian astronomer E. Delporte in 1932.
How big is the asteroid?
In terms of size, Asteroid 2023 QC8 is nearly 130 feet wide, which makes it almost as big as an aircraft! Despite being more than two times bigger than the Chelyabinsk asteroid which caused damage on Earth in 2013, this space rock isn't big enough to be classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object.
Asteroid impact this year
Did you know that an asteroid struck Earth this year? While it wasn't a planet killer that wiped out entire species like another space rock did about 65 million years ago, this one did hit the surface. As per NASA, a meteorite turned into an atmospheric fireball on February 15 and crashed near McAllen, Texas. Law enforcement agencies in the McAllen region received several calls from residents who reported hearing a loud explosion. It was a 1000-pound rock that was 2 feet in diameter as it broke into pieces about 21 miles above Earth's surface.
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