Apollo asteroid to pass Earth today, reveals NASA
An Apollo group asteroid known as Asteroid 2023 UH is expected to pass Earth today, October 20. Know details such as its speed, distance, size, and more, as per NASA.
For years, it has been known that the most likely cause of the extinction of dinosaurs was an asteroid impact. The most common theory behind the extinction is the Alvarez hypothesis, which claims that an asteroid struck Earth nearly 65 million years ago and wiped out entire species of dinosaurs. This theory is backed by some proof too as scientists have also discovered its impact crater, known as the Chicxulub crater, buried under the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. As per the hypothesis, the impact of the asteroid would have caused the formation of huge tidal waves and an impact crater almost 140 km wide. Lland material would have splattered into space, changing the Earth into a nuclear winter-like environment, ultimately leading to the demise of dinosaurs.
In a new development, NASA's Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), responsible for monitoring the skies and watching various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), has shed light on an asteroid that will pass Earth closely today. Know all about it.
Asteroid 2023 UH
NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has designated this space rock as Asteroid 2023 UH. The asteroid will pass Earth today, October 20, at a distance of 2.5 million kilometers. It is already rushing for a close approach to Earth in its orbit, travelling at a speed of about 39932 kilometers per hour, which is just shy of the speed of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)!
This space rock 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.
How big is it?
NASA has also revealed details about the asteroid's size, and it is not big enough to be classified as a ‘Potentially Hazardous Asteroid' as it is considerably smaller than 492 feet. It is between 52 feet and 118 feet wide, making it almost as big as an aircraft.
Asteroid 2023 UH is just one of the asteroids that are set to pass Earth today, with two more asteroids, Asteroid 2023 TK15 and Asteroid 2020 UR also on their way.
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