75-foot asteroid to come as close as 2.4 mn km to Earth; NASA reveals speed, other details
An aircraft-sized asteroid is expected to pass Earth today, December 26, NASA has revealed. Know details such as speed, size, distance, and more, as per NASA.
When NASA's telescopes track a new Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA), astronomers measure the asteroid's observed positions in the sky and report them to the Minor Planet Center. The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) then uses that data to determine the asteroid's most likely orbit around the Sun. As per CNEOS, an asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2023 XO7, is expected to pass Earth by a close margin today, December 7. Know details about Asteroid 2023 XO7 such as its speed, size, distance of approach, and more.
Asteroid 2023 XO7: Details
Asteroid 2023 XO7 is expected to pass Earth at a distance of just 2.4 million kilometers and at a speed of 24182 kilometers per hour which is much faster than Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)! It is important to note that while it has been termed as a Near-Earth Asteroid due to its close distance of passing, it is not expected to actually impact the planet.
It 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.
How big is the asteroid?
NASA has not designated Asteroid 2023 XO7 as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid. Only celestial objects larger than 492 feet that pass Earth at a distance closer than 7.5 million kilometers are designated so, and Asteroid 2023 XO7 does not fulfill one of these requirements. In terms of size, Asteroid 2023 XO7 is almost 75 feet wide, making it almost as big as an aircraft.
According to NASA, this will not be Asteroid 2023 XO7's first-ever close approach to Earth. The first time it came close to the planet was on November 16, 1961, when it passed at a distance of approximately 55 million kilometers. After today, it will pass Earth again on March 26, 2155, at almost 70 million kilometers.