Aircraft-sized asteroid will pass Earth closely today! NASA tracks its size, speed

An aircraft-sized asteroid is on its way towards Earth and could come as close as 1.6 million kilometers. Know details, as per NASA.

| Updated on: Aug 23 2023, 10:20 IST
Wave of asteroids to pass by Earth soon! NASA reveals details of 5 space rocks
1/5 Asteroid PM - Asteroid PM, is currently heading towards Earth and will pass close by Earth today, August 22. The asteroid is nearly the size of an aircraft with a width of 180 feet. It is travelling at almost 25083 kilometers per hour and will make its closest approach at 3.6 million kilometers. (NASA/JPL)
2/5 Asteroid 2023 QU1 – Yet another asteroid named Asteroid 2023 QU1 will make its closest approach to Earth today, August 22. In terms of size, it is almost 66 feet wide. As per NASA, it will come as close as 6.2 million kilometers and is already moving at a speed of 20637 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
3/5 2023 QZ – 2023 QZ, which is nearly 47 feet wide, is heading for Earth and will make its closest approach today, August 22. It is moving at a blistering speed of 16211 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a close distance of 5.1 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2023 QW – Asteroid 2023 QW will make an extremely close approach to the planet on August 23. The asteroid, with a width of around 71 feet, will approach at a distance of just 1.6 million kilometers and a speed of nearly 58848 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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5/5 Asteroid 2023 QO – Asteroid 2023 QO, with a width of just 46 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth on August 23. The space rock is already rushing towards Earth at a speed of 38661 kilometers per hour and will miss the planet by a distance of 2.4 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 QW belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

Asteroids often make close approaches to Earth, but did you know that one of them hit the planet this year? NASA revealed that on February 15, a 1000-pound, 2 feet wide space rock turned into an atmospheric fireball and broke into pieces about 21 miles above Earth's surface and was found near McAllen, Texas. Law enforcement agencies in the McAllen region received several calls from residents who reported hearing a loud explosion. According to NASA, the space rock was travelling at about 43000 kilometers per hour and it had an energy of about 8 tons of TNT.

While not expected to hit Earth, NASA has warned that another space rock will pass Earth at quite a close ditance today, August 23. Know all the details.

Asteroid 2023 QW: Details

Anasteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2023 QW, is on its way towards Earth and could make its closest approach to the planet today, August 23. NASA revealed these details after tracking the asteroid's orbit using its various satellites and space and ground-based telescopes. As per the details, Asteroid 2023 QW is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of just 1.6 million kilometers, and at a speed of 58848 kilometers per hour.

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.

According to NASA, Asteroid 2023 QW has not been classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object due to its relatively small size. Only objects larger than 492 feet in diameter are deemed hazardous. In comparison, Asteroid 2023 QW is just 71 feet wide, making it almost as big as a small aircraft.

Asteroid Apophis

An asteroid that was previously expected to strike Earth is now being deemed safe. However, it will come close enough to the planet in this decade, giving scientists a chance to study it. This asteroid is named 99942 Apophis and has been given the designation Asteroid 2004 MN4 by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies. According to NASA, Asteroid 99942 Apophis asteroid will make an extremely close trip to Earth on April 13, 2029. On that day, this space rock will come as close as 38000 kilometers to Earth's surface. This is closer than many geostationary satellites orbiting the planet.

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First Published Date: 23 Aug, 10:20 IST