After meteor crater discovery on beach, NASA reveals another imminent asteroid approach

Asteroid 2023 RL6 will make an extremely close approach to Earth today, just days after a meteor crater was discovered on a beach in Ireland.

| Updated on: Sep 14 2023, 10:49 IST
5 asteroids approaching Earth at fearsome speeds! RR5 will get very close, NASA says
Asteroid 2023 RL6
1/5 Asteroid 2023 RR5 - Asteroid 2023 RR5, is currently heading towards Earth and will pass closely by today, September 13. The asteroid is very small, with a width of just 19 feet. It is travelling at almost 49648 kilometers per hour and will make its closest approach at just 207,000 kilometers, which is even closer than the Moon! (Pexels)
Asteroid 2023 RL6
2/5 Asteroid 2023 RH2 – Asteroid 2023 RH2, which is nearly 180 feet wide, is heading for Earth and will make its closest approach today, September 13. It is moving at a blistering speed of 77303 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a close distance of 4.3 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
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3/5 Asteroid 2023 RC4 – Asteroid 2023 RC4 will make its closest approach to Earth today, September 13. In terms of size, it is almost 54 feet wide. As per NASA, it will come as close as 5 million kilometers and is already moving at a speed of 27293 kilometers per hour. (Pixels)
Asteroid 2023 RL6
4/5 Asteroid 2023 RR – Asteroid 2023 RR will make its extremely close approach to the planet today, September 13. The asteroid, with a width of around 150 feet, will approach at a distance of just 6.6 million kilometers and a speed of nearly 76193 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
Asteroid 2023 RL6
5/5 Asteroid 2023 RE5 – Asteroid 2023 RE5, with a width of just 38 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth tomorrow, September 14. The space rock is already rushing towards Earth at a speed of 49135 kilometers per hour and will miss the planet by a distance of just 883,000 kilometers. (WikiMedia Commons)
Asteroid 2023 RL6
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Asteroid 2023 RL6 belongs to the Amor group of Near-Earth Asteroids. (NASA JPL)

Asteroids that pass Earth at close proximity present a potential threat of collision with Earth. In fact, there have been several close calls with asteroids recently. In February, a 2 feet wide rock broke into pieces about 33 kilometers above the Earth's surface. On July 6, a meteor crashed, bounced off a roof, and hit a woman in the chest who was sipping coffee on her terrace in the village of Alsace in Eastern France. Now, another meteor and its impact crater was reportedly spotted by a dog walker on Portmarnock Beach in Ireland.

While none of these asteroids were big enough to cause large damage, these close calls highlight the importance of discovering, tracking, and studying asteroids, even those found in the asteroid belt. Through its advanced instruments, NASA has now shed light on an asteroid that is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today.

Asteroid 2023 RL6

NASA keeps an eye on asteroids, comets, and other Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) for potential close approaches that could threaten Earth. The space agency has issued a warning against an asteroid that will come extremely close to Earth today, September 14. As per the details, the asteroid, given the designation Asteroid 2023 RL6, will pass Earth at a distance of approximately 3.2 million kilometers.

While this asteroid is not a planet killer, it is still huge, with an estimated width between 72 feet and 160 feet, which makes it out to be as big as an aircraft! It is also bigger than the 59-foot Chelyabinsk asteroid that exploded over the Russian city in 2013 and caused some damage.

Not only will the asteroid pass Earth closely, but it is also hurtling towards us at blistering speed. NASA has revealed that Asteroid 2023 RL6 is approaching Earth at a breakneck speed of 32994 kilometers per hour.

Other details

This space rock belongs to the Amor group of Near-Earth Asteroids which are Earth-approaching near-Earth asteroids with orbits exterior to Earth but interior to Mars', named after asteroid 1221 Amor, which was discovered by Belgian astronomer E. Delporte in 1932.

Shockingly, this will be Asteroid 2023 RL6's first-ever close approach to Earth in history, although it has passed the planet before, albeit at a much farther distance on June 10, 1968. As per NASA's Small-Body Database Lookup, it is not expected to make any further close approach in the near future.

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First Published Date: 14 Sep, 10:49 IST
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