58-ft asteroid hurtling towards Earth, clocked speeding at a whopping 41100 kmph by NASA | Tech News

58-ft asteroid hurtling towards Earth, clocked speeding at a whopping 41100 kmph by NASA

An Aten-group asteroid could make its closest approach to Earth soon and it will pass the planet by an extremely close margin, NASA has revealed.

| Updated on: Jul 26 2023, 11:38 IST
Asteroid 2023 OR1
Asteroid 2023 OR1 belongs to the Aten group of Near-Earth Asteroids. (NASA JPL)

The 16 Psyche asteroid has been one of the most shocking discoveries in recent years. One of the biggest asteroids in our solar system, 16 Psyche is made up of gold, nickel, and iron deposits. According to NASA, this asteroid could be worth more than the whole Earth's economy put together. It is worth a staggering $10 quadrillion! To study it up close, NASA is in the final stages of preparation for its Psyche Mission where the spacecraft will go on a momentous 4 billion kilometer journey to reach the asteroid. With the launch scheduled for October 5, Psyche spacecraft is in the final stages of preparation for liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida

NASA has now revealed crucial information about an asteroid that will make its closest approach to Earth today, and while this is not made up of rare-Earth metals, it will pass by at a very close distance.

Asteroid 2023 OR1

The increasing number of asteroids that pass Earth closely has made it imperative for space agencies such as NASA and ESA to continuously monitor them. One such asteroid is Asteroid 2023 OR1 which will come very close to Earth tomorrow, July 27. As per NASA, this space rock will come as close as just 1.2 million kilometers during its closest approach, and it is already on its way, travelling at a fearsome speed of 41100 kilometers per hour.

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The space agency has also revealed that Asteroid 2023 NP belongs to the Aten group of asteroids, which are Earth-crossing Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) with semi-major axes smaller than Earth's. They are named after the asteroid 2062 Aten and the first of its kind was discovered by American astronomer Eleanor Helin at Palomar Observatory on January 7, 1976.

While this asteroid will pass Earth by a very close margin, it is not big enough to be called a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid. With a width of just 56 feet, Asteroid 2023 OR1 is just about as big as a house.

Previous approaches

This isn't the first time that this asteroid will come close to Earth. In fact, its first close approach happened on July 26, 1954, at a distance of 5.4 million kilometers. After today, its next closest approach will be on July 22, 2032, when it will pass by at a distance of 6.1 million kilometers.

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First Published Date: 26 Jul, 10:27 IST