Asteroid 2023 HX1 speeding towards Earth at a fiery 38126 kmph
NASA has issued an alert against Asteroid 2023 HX1 which is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today. Further details such as its speed, distance, and other characteristics have been revealed by the space agency.
A planet-ending celestial object strikes the Earth every few million years. But an asteroid doesn't have to be hundreds of kilometers wide to cause substantial damage. For example, the asteroid that exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk on 15 February 2013 was just 59 feet wide. However, it caused significant damage to life and property and left nearly 8000 buildings damaged and over 1000 people injured.
NASA has now issued an alert against an asteroid with a size similar to the Chelyabinsk asteroid, and it is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today.
Asteroid 2023 HX1 details
Asteroid 2023 HX1 is currently heading towards Earth and is projected to narrowly avoid colliding with the planet today, April 21. NASA estimates that it will come closest to Earth at a distance of just 3 million kilometers and is currently travelling at a terrifying speed of 38126 kilometers per hour.
The Planetary Defense Coordination Office at NASA has cautioned that Asteroid 2023 HX1 is relatively smaller than other asteroids that frequently pass Earth, measuring nearly 36 feet across, which is comparable to the size of a bus. It belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), according to NASA.
The Chelyabinsk Incident
When the asteroid over the city of Chelyabinsk exploded, it caused the space rock to break down into small rocks which rained on the city. Glass shards from broken windows injured people and others reported eye damage from the excessively bright spark. The Chelyabinsk event not only caused millions in damage, but it was a wake-up call too.
This event became a pivotal moment for humans to recognize the terrifying threat that floated above them. It showed the need for better study and tracking of asteroids and other celestial objects and led to the formation of various organizations which monitor Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) for potential impact.
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