59-foot asteroid set to pass Earth today! Know speed, size, and more

NASA has revealed details about a close approach by a 59-foot Apollo group asteroid today, November 1. Know information such as its speed, distance of approach, and more.

| Updated on: Nov 01 2023, 10:30 IST
2326-foot asteroid, 4 other space rocks, to pass Earth soon, says NASA
1/5 Asteroid 2023 TW6 - The first asteroid to pass Earth today, October 31, is designated Asteroid 2023 TW6. During its approach, it will come as close as 7.3 million kilometers to the planet. According to NASA, the space rock is almost 280 feet wide and is travelling at a fiery speed of almost 88007 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
2/5 Asteroid 2023 UZ3 – The second asteroid on its way is designated Asteroid 2023 UZ3, and it will pass by Earth tomorrow, November 1. According to NASA, this space rock is house-sized with a width of 58 feet. Its orbit will take it almost as close as 1 million kilometers to the planet’s surface while moving at a speed of 51814 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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3/5 Asteroid 2023 UV3 – Yet another space rock named Asteroid 2023 UV3 will also pass Earth tomorrow, November 1. In terms of size, the asteroid is almost 48 feet wide. As per NASA, it will come as close as 5.6 million kilometers and is already moving at a speed of 55552 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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4/5 Asteroid 2016 WY – The smallest space rock of them all, Asteroid 2016 WY will pass by Earth on November 2. During its close approach, it will come as close as 3.4 million kilometers to the planet’s surface. With a width of just 16 feet, the space rock is speeding towards Earth at 14187 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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5/5 Asteroid 2003 UC20 – The biggest asteroid of them all in this list, Asteroid 2003 UC20, with a staggering width of nearly 2326 feet, will pass Earth on November 2. According to NASA, this Potentially Hazardous Asteroid is travelling at almost 28694 kilometers per hour and will pass the planet at a distance of just 5.2 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 UZ3 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

NASA has revealed that an asteroid is on its way and its orbit could bring it close to Earth today, November 1. October was filled with multiple asteroid approaches, and it seems like November will continue this trend. The asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2023 UZ3, is set to pass the planet today. This space rock was spotted by NASA's Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), which is responsible for monitoring the skies and keeping a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), using various space and ground-based telescopes such as NEOWISE telescope, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), Pans-STARRS1 and Catalina Sky Survey.

The space agency has a suite of advanced tech equipment used for observing and monitoring Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) such as asteroids, comets, and more.

Asteroid 2023 UZ3: Details of close approach

The asteroid will pass the planet by a distance of approximately 1 million kilometers, and is already speeding at 51814 kilometers per hour, which is even faster than a hypersonic ballistic missile! Despite its blistering speed, this asteroid has not been declared as a ‘Potentially Hazardous Object'. These are celestial objects that are larger than 492 feet in diameter and pass Earth closer than 7.5 million kilometers. In terms of size, the asteroid is nearly 59 feet wide, making it almost as big as a house!

Astonishingly, it is the same size as the Chelyabinsk asteroid that exploded over the Russian city in 2013, damaging over 7000 buildings and leaving about 1000 people injured when the impact shattered glass and sent it flying across the city.

The space agency has also revealed that Asteroid 2023 UZ3 belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, which are Earth-crossing space rocks with semi-major axes larger than Earth's. These asteroids are named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.

According to NASA, this will be the first time this asteroid has been observed approaching Earth, according to NASA CNEOS. As of today, no close approach in the near future is expected.

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First Published Date: 01 Nov, 10:30 IST