650-foot asteroid dashing towards Earth! NASA tracks this monstrous space rock

A colossal 650-feet 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: May 24 2023, 09:58 IST
300-foot asteroid among 7 set to buzz Earth today, NASA warns
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1/7 Asteroid 2023 KS: NASA's telescopes have detected this small yet risky asteroid, which measures just 36-foot in size. Asteroid 2023 KS will make its closest approach to Earth today, May 22, at a distance of just 146,000 miles, which is even closer than the Moon.  (Pixabay)
2/7 Asteroid 2023 JK3: It is a 93-foot asteroid and will fly past Earth by a very close margin today at a distance of 386,000 miles. NASA's CNEOS data says that it is travelling towards the planet at a speed of 17566 kmph. (Pixabay)
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3/7 Asteroid 2019 GK21: An 84-foot asteroid will fly past Earth by a close margin of 3.61 million miles today. This airplane-sized asteroid is travelling towards the planet at a speed of 29011 kmph.  (Pixabay)
4/7 Asteroid 2021 JK7: A giant 150-foot asteroid is hurtling towards Earth at a blazing speed of 82341 kmph! NASA has revealed that the asteroid will make a close approach to Earth and get within 3.97 million miles of it.  (Pixabay)
5/7 Asteroid 2023 GY2: This is a colossal 300-foot asteroid that will be making its closest approach to Earth today at a distance of 4.31 million miles. The asteroid is moving at a speed of 40816 kmph towards Earth.  (Pixabay)
6/7 Asteroid 2023 KN: Travelling at a fiery speed of 79456 kmph, this asteroid will come as close as 567,585 miles to Earth. It measures around 75-foot in size, NASA's CNEOS data revealed. (Pixabay)
7/7 Asteroid 2023 JZ1: Another giant 204-foot asteroid is set to make its close approach towards Earth. It will get as close as 2.54 million miles at a speed of 46784 kmph. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 CL3 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

Despite asteroids passing Earth closely almost every day, none so far have threatened our safety on Earth. But there isn't any guarantee against any space rock striking Earth. How big an asteroid would have to be to end all life? Well, NASA says that 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 regional harm.

Although not quite as big, NASA has revealed that a colossal asteroid is set to make its closest approach to Earth today.

Asteroid 2023 CL3

Scientists are intrigued by Asteroid 2023 CL3, due to its colossal size. According to NASA, the asteroid is estimated to be roughly 650 feet wide, which is comparable in size to a towering skyscraper. Given its enormity, if Asteroid 2023 CL3 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 CL3 is set to reach its nearest distance to Earth today, May 24, at a distance of 7.2 million kilometers. As a result, it has been added to NASA's Close Approaches list. 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 CL3 is already dashing towards Earth, at a fiery speed of 26387 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: 24 May, 09:58 IST