350-foot Asteroid 2023 GM dashing towards Earth! NASA reveals speed of gigantic space rock

A 350-foot wide asteroid is set to make its closest approach towards Earth today, NASA has revealed. Does it pose any danger to the planet?

| Updated on: Apr 17 2023, 06:59 IST
NASA Alert! 5 asteroids zooming towards Earth, including one that is 250 foot wide
1/6 While some asteroids can be detected by NASA's astronomers, others can unexpectedly hit Earth without being detected. Any asteroid that comes within 4.6 million miles or 7.5 million kilometres of Earth, or measures larger than approximately 150 meters, is considered a potentially hazardous object and is flagged by NASA. (Pixabay)
2/6 Now, NASA has red-flagged an asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 UF4, which is dangerously heading for Earth today, October 27. NASA has warned that Asteroid 2022 UF4 is nearly 140 feet wide, which is nearly the size of a commercial aircraft. (Pixabay)
3/6 There is a double asteroid attack today! Another 110-foot asteroid 2023 FT1 will come around 4.64 million miles to Earth. Moreover, it will be hurtling toward Earth at a speed of 23790 km per hour. (Pixabay)
4/6 On April 11, there is a giant airplane-sized asteroid named 2023 GG which is zooming towards Earth at a blistering speed of 38102 km per hour, CNEOS data mentioned. It is a 250-foot-wide asteroid that will come as close as 0.946 million miles to the Earth. (Pixabay)
5/6 Now, NASA has spotted five giant monster rocks approaching Earth. One of which is dubbed as 2023 FG5 which is 77-foot wide and will make the closest approach of 2.26 million miles from Earth today. (Wikimedia Commons)
6/6 However, the closest of them all is a 66-foot wide Asteroid 2023 FS10 which is hurtling towards at a velocity of 27376 kmph to come as close as just 0.665 million miles to Earth.   (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 GM belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

Although asteroids make close approaches to Earth almost every day, most of them are not big enough to potentially wipe out life on the planet. In fact, an asteroid with a diameter of around 96 kilometers (about half the distance from Washington, D.C. to New York City) can actually completely extinguish life on Earth, but smaller asteroids can still cause harm. Despite being much smaller than that, NASA has issued a warning that a 350-foot wide asteroid is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today.

Asteroid 2023 GM information

Scientists are intrigued by Asteroid 2023 GM, due to its colossal size. According to NASA, the asteroid is estimated to be roughly 350 feet wide, which is comparable in size to a towering skyscraper. Given its enormity, if Asteroid 2023 GM were to collide with the planet, it could cause immense destruction, particularly if it landed in a densely populated region.

As per the space agency, Asteroid 2023 GM is set to reach its nearest distance to Earth today, April 17, at a distance of 3.2 million kilometers. While this distance may seem considerable, it's relatively minor in terms of astronomical measurements, considering the massive size of the asteroid.

In fact, Asteroid 2023 GM is already dashing towards Earth, at a fiery speed of 72312 kilometers per hour!

NASA tech used to study asteroids

NASA not only uses its space telescopes and observatories like the NEOWISE to observe and study distant asteroids, but also a variety of ground-based telescopes such as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) located in the Antofagasta Region of the Atacama Desert in Chile.

NASA also has a new impact monitoring system in place which uses an algorithm called Sentry-II to calculate the impact risk of Near-Earth Objects. NASA can track the orbital path of the asteroid using this infrared data and can even predict its orbit years into the future. As of now, nearly 28,000 near-Earth asteroids have been discovered using various tech instruments which track objects in the sky.

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First Published Date: 17 Apr, 06:58 IST