320-foot asteroid to pass Earth today! NASA reveals details of this gigantic space rock

    A 320-foot asteroid, which is about the size of a building is all set to make a close flyby today, as per NASA. Know the asteroid’s distance, speed and more.

    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Jan 17 2023, 10:38 IST
    From 721-foot monster to 22-foot dwarf, 5 asteroids to come very close to Earth
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    1/5 Asteroid 2022 YS5 - NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has warned that the asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 YS5, will make its closest approach to Earth today, January 13, at a distance of 5.9 million kilometers. It is nearly as big as an aircraft, with a width of 130 feet. Asteroid 2022 YS5 is already hurtling towards the planet at a speed of 21506 kmph.  (Wikimedia Commons)
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    2/5 Asteroid 2014 LJ - A relatively small asteroid with a size of 22 feet will fly past Earth by a very close margin tomorrow, January 14. The asteroid, named Asteroid 2014 LJ, will make its closest approach with the planet at a distance of 1.8 million kilometers. The asteroid is travelling towards the planet at a blistering speed of 12515 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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    3/5 Asteroid 2022 YH3 – Another asteroid named 2022 YH3 will make its closest approach to Earth tomorrow, January 14 at a distance of 7.2 million kilometers. The asteroid, with a width of 290, is travelling at a staggering speed of 58580 kilometers per hour towards the planet. (Pixabay)
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    4/5 Asteroid 2012 BV13 - NASA has issued an alert against another asteroid named Asteroid 2012 BV13. This asteroid is particularly concerning due to its monstrous size. According to NASA, it has a size ranging anywhere between 327 feet and 721 feet, making it nearly as big as a football field! It is expected to fly past Earth closely on January 16 at a distance of 1.5 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a speedy 24042 kilometers per hour.  (WikiMedia Commons)
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    5/5 Asteroid 2020 BP - NASA has warned that an asteroid named Asteroid 2020 BP is heading for Earth and is expected to pass by the planet closely on January 20. Asteroid 2020 BP is already on its way towards us travelling at a fearsome speed of 60966 kilometers per hour. The asteroid, with a width between 62 feet and 141 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth a distance of just 1.9 million kilometers.  (Pixabay)
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    Asteroid 2023 AQ belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth asteroids. (Wikimedia Commons)

    The seemingly vast emptiness of space is actually full of humongous celestial objects, out of which only a few have been discovered so far. Asteroids are some of these objects. They are rocky, airless remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago, according to NASA. Most of them can be found orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter within the main asteroid belt, though they occasionally make close trips to Earth. NASA has issued an alert against one such asteroid which is set to make a close approach with Earth soon.

    Asteroid 2023 AQ details

    NASA has issued an alert about an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 AQ which is headed straight for Earth today, January 17. According to the space agency, this 320-foot wide asteroid is nearly the size of a skyscraper, and will make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 4.1 million kilometers. It is hurtling towards Earth at a staggering speed of 89857 kilometers per hour, making it one of the fastest asteroids to pass by Earth in the recent past.

    NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office keeps a check on these Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) for any potential collision with Earth and declares them as Potentially Hazardous Objects if they come within around 8 million kilometers of Earth.

    According to the-sky.org, the Asteroid 2023 AQ belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. It was discovered just days ago on January 13. This asteroid takes 1125 days to complete one trip around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 555 million kilometers and nearest distance is 78 million kilometers.

    Types of asteroids

    There are three main types of asteroids: C-type, S-type, and M-type. C-type asteroids are the most common and are made mostly of carbon-rich materials. S-type asteroids are made mostly of silicate minerals and are less common. M-type asteroids are made mostly of metal and are the least common.

    Asteroids are important to study because they can provide important insight into the early years of the solar system and the formation of planets. They might also contain valuable resources, such as water and metals, which could be utilized in future space missions.

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    First Published Date: 17 Jan, 10:08 IST
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