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.
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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