Alert! This Asteroid could come closer to Earth than the Moon, NASA reveals

An asteroid is set for a close approach with Earth and it could come closer than even the Moon! Check its speed, distance and trajectory, as per NASA.

| Updated on: Apr 20 2023, 10:23 IST
NASA Alert! 5 asteroids zooming towards Earth, including one that is 250 foot wide
1/6 While some asteroids can be detected by NASA's astronomers, others can unexpectedly hit Earth without being detected. Any asteroid that comes within 4.6 million miles or 7.5 million kilometres of Earth, or measures larger than approximately 150 meters, is considered a potentially hazardous object and is flagged by NASA. (Pixabay)
2/6 Now, NASA has red-flagged an asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 UF4, which is dangerously heading for Earth today, October 27. NASA has warned that Asteroid 2022 UF4 is nearly 140 feet wide, which is nearly the size of a commercial aircraft. (Pixabay)
3/6 There is a double asteroid attack today! Another 110-foot asteroid 2023 FT1 will come around 4.64 million miles to Earth. Moreover, it will be hurtling toward Earth at a speed of 23790 km per hour. (Pixabay)
4/6 On April 11, there is a giant airplane-sized asteroid named 2023 GG which is zooming towards Earth at a blistering speed of 38102 km per hour, CNEOS data mentioned. It is a 250-foot-wide asteroid that will come as close as 0.946 million miles to the Earth. (Pixabay)
5/6 Now, NASA has spotted five giant monster rocks approaching Earth. One of which is dubbed as 2023 FG5 which is 77-foot wide and will make the closest approach of 2.26 million miles from Earth today. (Wikimedia Commons)
6/6 However, the closest of them all is a 66-foot wide Asteroid 2023 FS10 which is hurtling towards at a velocity of 27376 kmph to come as close as just 0.665 million miles to Earth.   (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 HK belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

Although asteroids frequently make close approaches to Earth, yesterday is particularly special as NASA revealed that as many as 5 asteroids made close approaches to Earth, and another one is set to pass our planet today. As these space rocks revolve around the Sun in their elliptical orbits, the asteroids also rotate, sometimes quite erratically, tumbling as they go. Sometimes, interaction with a planet's gravitational field knocks these asteroids off their trajectories and sends them towards a planet like Earth for potential impact.

NASA has now issued an alert against a similar asteroid which is on its way towards the planet and is expected to make a close approach soon.

Asteroid 2023 HK information

According to the information released by NASA, an asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2023 HK, is travelling towards Earth and is expected to make a close approach as soon as today, April 20. Although this asteroid is expected to pass Earth safely at a relatively close distance, it is not a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid due to its small size. With a width of nearly 42 feet, Asteroid 2023 HK is almost as big as a bus.

NASA has revealed that Asteroid 2023 HK will make its Earth approach at a distance of 341,109 kilometers. That is nearly the same distance from Earth as the Moon! It is already travelling towards Earth, at a staggering speed of approximately 57338 kilometers per hour.

How are Asteroids named?

According to ESA, the process of assigning a provisional designation to an asteroid begins when a single observer detects it on two consecutive nights and then sends their findings to the Minor Planet Centre of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The IAU assigns a provisional designation, which typically consists of a serial number like "1992 KD". The provisional designation includes the year of the asteroid's discovery, followed by two letters that indicate the order of its discovery during that year.

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First Published Date: 20 Apr, 10:17 IST