Alert! NASA telescopes find colossal 910-foot asteroid heading towards Earth today

NASA has warned about a gigantic asteroid heading towards Earth today! Is it potentially hazardous for Earth? Know what NASA revealed.

| Updated on: Jul 16 2023, 08:46 IST
Stadium-sized asteroid among 4 other space rocks approaching Earth at breakneck speeds
1/5 Asteroid 2023 NP – Asteroid 2023 NP, which is nearly 65 feet wide, is heading for Earth and will make a close approach today, July 14. This asteroid is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 29660 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a close distance of 5 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
2/5 Asteroid 2023 NY – Asteroid 2023 NY will make its closest approach to Earth on July 15. In terms of size, it is almost 46 feet wide. As per NASA, it will come as close as 4.4 million kilometers and is already moving at a speed of 7598 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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3/5 Asteroid 2023 NW – Asteroid 2023 NW will make its extremely close approach to the planet on July 16. The asteroid, with a width of 100 feet, will approach at a distance of 6 million kilometers and at a speed of nearly 61471 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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4/5 Asteroid 2023 MG6 - The biggest asteroid of them all, Asteroid 2023 MG6, is currently heading towards Earth and will pass by Earth on July 16. The asteroid is a staggering 910 feet wide, travelling at almost 44562 kilometers per hour while making its closest approach at 3.6 million kilometers.  (NASA)
5/5 Asteroid 2020 UQ3 – Asteroid 2020 UQ3, with a width of nearly 190 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth on July 18. The space rock is already rushing towards Earth at a speed of 33387 kilometers per hour and will miss the planet by a distance of 1.2 million kilometers. (asteroid)
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Asteroid 2023 MG6 rushing towards Earth, NASA warned. (AFP)

A majority of asteroids can be found in the region of space situated between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. These celestial bodies follow elliptical paths around the Sun, exhibiting irregular movements and rotations. Their orbits can be influenced by the gravitational force of Jupiter and occasional close encounters with other celestial objects. Resultantly, they may be ejected from the main asteroid belt and redirected onto diverse orbits. Now, NASA reports that one of these monster rocks from the asteroid belt is rushing towards Earth.

NASA telescopes have observed a stadium-sized asteroid that is already on its way to make a dangerously close approach towards Earth. This asteroid has been classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object due to its mammoth size and proximity. NASA has provided crucial details regarding this asteroid. Here is what you need to know.

Asteroid 2023 MG6 details

The asteroid has been named Asteroid 2023 MG6 by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies. Asteroid 2023 MG6 will pass Earth today, July 16, at a distance of 2.26 million miles. In fact, it is already rushing towards the planet, travelling at a terrifying speed of 44562 kilometers per hour.

What's shocking about the asteroid is its colossal size. NASA has estimated Asteroid 2023 MG6 to be nearly 910-foot, which is about the size of a stadium! It belongs to the Amor group of asteroids, a group of near-Earth asteroids named after the archetype object 1221 Amor. NASA says that Amor asteroids' orbit lies between Earth and Mars.

How NASA track these asteroids

Astronomers use optical and radio telescopes to study the size, shape, rotation, and physical composition of these asteroids. Those near-Earth objects that come close enough to Earth are studied in great detail using planetary radar. Such detailed characterization is made possible through the use of radio telescopes located at NASA's Deep Space Network and the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

The need to study these arises from the fact that they have the potential to inflict severe damage on Earth were they to crash against it. The chances are remote, but previous instances of massive crashes on Earth, Moon, Mars and other planets show that the danger is ever-present.

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First Published Date: 16 Jul, 08:45 IST