After MISSING this dangerous asteroid completely, NASA tracks latest one on the horizon | Tech News

After MISSING this dangerous asteroid completely, NASA tracks latest one on the horizon

After missing an asteroid that made an extremely close approach to Earth just a week ago, NASA has now revealed details about another asteroid that will pass the planet today. But is it dangerous? Here’s what we know.

| Updated on: Jul 21 2023, 09:53 IST
Aircraft-sized asteroid and 4 other space rocks racing towards Earth! Close approaches soon
Asteroid 2023 OS
1/5 Asteroid 2023 OA – Asteroid 2023 OA, which is just 58 feet wide, is heading for Earth and will make a close approach today, July 19. This asteroid is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 26989 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a close distance of 2.3 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
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2/5 Asteroid 2023 NE1 – Asteroid 2023 NE1 will also make its closest approach to Earth today, July 19. In terms of size, it is almost 190 feet wide. As per NASA, it will come as close as 4.8 million kilometers and is already moving at a speed of 20410 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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3/5 Asteroid 2020 OM – Asteroid 2020 OM will make its extremely close approach to the planet tomorrow, July 20. The asteroid, with a width of 44 feet, will approach at a distance of 6 million kilometers and at a speed of nearly 34145 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
Asteroid 2023 OS
4/5 Asteroid 2022 GX2 - Asteroid 2022 GX2, is currently heading towards Earth and will pass by Earth tomorrow, July 20. The asteroid is tiny with a width of just 15 feet. It is travelling at almost 33804 kilometers per hour and will make its closest approach at 4.5 million kilometers.  (Pixabay)
Asteroid 2023 OS
5/5 Asteroid 2023 NL –  Yet another asteroid named Asteroid 2023 NL, with a width of nearly 140 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth tomorrow, July 20. The space rock is already rushing towards Earth at a speed of 19664 kilometers per hour and will miss the planet by a distance of 7.3 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
Asteroid 2023 OS
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Asteroid 2023 OS belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (NASA JPL)

An asteroid flew past Earth at an extremely close distance, but was seemingly missed by all space agencies! NASA revealed that the asteroid in question, Asteroid 2023 NT1, made its closest approach to Earth on July 13 when it entered Earth's 60,000-mile radius, which is 4 times closer than the Moon! It was not a small rock either, as scientists later revealed it was nearly 200 feet wide, about 4 times the size of the Chelyabinsk asteroid that caused massive damage in Russia. The space rock was found by the Asteroid Terrestrials-Impacts Last Alert System (ATLAS) observatory in South Africa on July 15.

NASA has also revealed details about an asteroid that will pass the planet at a close distance soon. But will it impact? Read on to find out.

When will it pass Earth?

According to the data published by NASA CNEOS, an asteroid designated as Asteroid 2023 OS is approaching Earth at a breakneck speed and is expected to make its closest approach to the planet today, July 21.

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How fast is it going and how close will it come?

This space rock is currently travelling towards Earth at 38946 kilometers per hour, which is multiple times faster than Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)!

It will come as close as 1.9 million kilometers, and while this distance might seem a lot, it is relatively a small number in astronomical distances, considering how big the asteroid is.

How big is it?

NASA estimates it to be around 150 feet wide, which is comparable to an aircraft! It has also been revealed that Asteroid 2023 OS 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.

NASA's asteroid monitoring tech

To discover, monitor and study asteroids in space, NASA has several space telescopes and ground-based observatories in place. These include the famous Hubble Space Telescope and the new James Webb Space Telescope. Moreover, spacecraft such as Dawn, OSIRIS-REx, and Hayabusa2 have also helped in studying these ancient space rocks. As of now, there are 1,298,210 known asteroids in space and while not all of them are dangerous, some of them can get knocked off their orbit due to interaction with a planet's gravitational field such as Jupiter, and head towards Earth for potential impact.

Therefore, it is imperative that these asteroids are continuously monitored to minimize the uncertainties around their close approach.

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First Published Date: 21 Jul, 09:23 IST