180-foot asteroid rushing towards Earth, NASA says; Know all the details
An aircraft-sized, Amor group asteroid could make its closest approach to Earth today, August 22. Know its details such as size, distance, speed, and more.
We know that asteroids have the potential to cause major damage, and even wipe out life on Earth. On the other hand, these space rocks can also provide us with valuable resources such as water, metals, and other minerals. Scientists study asteroids to learn more about the early solar system and the conditions that existed when the planets were forming. But now, a method has been devised to protect Earth from the Sun's intense rays, in a bid to mitigate climate change. This move, ideated by astronomer Istvan Szapudi, from the University of Hawai'i Institute for Astronomy, proposes a space-based solar radiation management (SRM) shield or shade that is tethered to an asteroid as a counterweight.
In the meanwhile, NASA has now revealed that an asteroid is set to pass Earth very closely today and has issued details about its close approach.
Asteroid 2023 PM: Details about the close approach
The space agency has issued a warning against an asteroid that will come extremely close to Earth today, August 22. As per the details, the asteroid, given the designation Asteroid 2023 PM, will pass Earth at a distance of approximately 3.6 million kilometers. NASA estimates this asteroid to be massive in size. With a width of almost 180 feet, it can be compared to a large aircraft!
Not only will the asteroid pass Earth closely, but it is also hurtling towards us at blistering speed. NASA has revealed that Asteroid 2023 PM is approaching Earth at a breakneck speed of 25083 kilometers per hour.
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.
While the asteroid has passed by Earth before, this flyby will be its first close approach in history. As per the data provided by NASA's Small-Body Database Lookup, it is not expected to make another close approach in the near future. However, it will still pass by Earth in 2026 and then in 2029.
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