58-foot asteroid dashing towards Earth, NASA reveals
A 58-foot asteroid could make a close trip to Earth today and NASA has revealed the asteroid’s key details.
Earth witnessed countless asteroid flybys last year and the first month of 2023 has continued the trend with as many as 4 asteroids passing by Earth yesterday alone. Although none of these 4 space rocks were expected to impact Earth's surface, their close approaches serve as a reminder of the potential danger that asteroids can pose to our planet. That is why agencies like NASA, ESA and others continue to keep an eye on these Near-Earth Objects which have the potential to cause major destruction on Earth if they ever impacted.
With the help of its advanced tech, NASA has now revealed that another asteroid is on its way and although it is not a planet-killer, it will pass by Earth closely.
Asteroid 2023 BA3 key details
NASA has warned that an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 BA3 is headed for Earth and is expected to fly closely past the planet today, January 30. It will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of just 1.3 million kilometers. NASA says it is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a staggering speed of 31569 kilometers per hour, which is more than twice as fast as a hypersonic ballistic missile!
According to NASA, the Asteroid 2023 BA3 is 58 feet in width, which is the size of a house! It belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids which are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.
NASA tech explained
Surveys done by NASA-supported ground-based telescopes – including Pans-STARRS1 in Maui, Hawaii, as well as the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona – have identified thousands of near-Earth objects. And a space-based telescope called NEOWISE has identified hundreds of others while scanning the skies at near-infrared wavelengths of light from its polar orbit around Earth. NASA uses its ground-based radar to gather precise data about the asteroid's path and its characteristics.
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. The space agency has a NEO Surveyor mission planned for launch in 2026 to gain even greater in-depth data using a new orbiter.
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