Apollo-group asteroid rushing towards Earth! NASA reveals details of close approach

Asteroids have been making extremely close approaches to Earth recently, and now another one is set to pass the planet today. Know its speed, distance, size, and more.

| Updated on: Sep 07 2023, 11:23 IST
170-foot wide Asteroid 2023 QE8 to get frighteningly close to Earth, NASA says; Check speed, size, more
1/5 NASA revealed that a massive space rock which the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has designated as Asteroid 2023 QE8, is travelling at a rapid speed towards Earth. As per reports, the asteroid is going to make a very close approach to Earth. (Pixabay)
2/5 According to data revealed by CNEOS, the Asteroid 2023 QE8 is travelling at a speed of  51947 kilometres per hour and is scheduled to make its nearest approach on September 10, 2023. (Pixabay)
3/5 NASA reports that the Asteroid 2023 QE8 is expected to get frighteningly close  to Earth. At its closest, the asteroid will be just 1,520,000 kilometres away from our planet. This will be the closest asteroid approach reported this week. (Pixabay)
4/5 The Asteroid 2023 QE8  belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids. The group is named after the Asteroid 1862 Apollo, which was discovered by Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s. He was a German astronomer.  (Pixabay)
5/5 The Asteroid 2023 QE8 is 170 feet wide which is about the size of an airplane. This may look like a huge space object, but NASA reports the space rock is not categorised as a potentially hazardous object. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 RH belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

After numerous delays, NASA's Psyche mission is set to lift off on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Speaking about this upcoming asteroid mission, Laurie Leshin, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory said, “One month out, we are in great shape”. For the unaware, the Psyche mission will study an asteroid known as 16 Psyche, which is made up of gold, nickel, and iron deposits. According to NASA, it could be worth more than the world's economy put together! Other than its gold-rich structure, the outer surface of this asteroid is nickel-rich which resembles an early planet's core.

It is worth nearly $10 quadrillion, and this is why NASA has planned a mission to this asteroid to study its composition.

In a separate development, NASA has issued details about an asteroid that is hurtling towards Earth for close approach soon.

Asteroid 2023 RH details

The asteroid, designated as Asteroid 2023 RH by NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), will make its closest approach to Earth tomorrow, September 8, at a distance of just 1.6 million kilometers. It is dashing towards Earth at a fearsome speed of 28544 kilometers per hour. Asteroid 2023 RH belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs).

While this asteroid is travelling at a shockingly fast speed, it is not large enough to cause catastrophic damage to Earth. With a width of nearly 91 feet, it can be compared to a huge aircraft! 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.

Importance of studying asteroids

Scientists study asteroids to learn more about the early solar system and the conditions that existed when the planets were forming. Asteroids can also provide valuable resources such as water, metals, and other minerals. Research on asteroids is critical since it can provide valuable information on the early stages of the solar system and planetary development. Furthermore, these celestial bodies might contain useful resources such as metals and water, which may be utilized in forthcoming space missions.

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First Published Date: 07 Sep, 11:22 IST