Asteroid 2023 KA2 racing towards Earth; NASA telescopes show how close it will come | Tech News

Asteroid 2023 KA2 racing towards Earth; NASA telescopes show how close it will come

NASA has warned that Asteroid 2023 KA2 will make a close approach to Earth today. Here is what you should know about this space rock.

| Updated on: May 25 2023, 17:47 IST
NASA has warned about the Asteroid 2023 KA2 that is speeding at a fiery speed towards Earth. NASA's various telescopes are tracking it constantly. (Pixabay)

A colossal 360-foot asteroid just buzzed Earth yesterday. Thankfully, it didn't pose any threat, but already another one is fast approaching! Asteroid 2023 KA2, part of the Apollo group of asteroids, is on its way and it will come remarkably close to Earth today. NASA discovered this asteroid just a few days ago - on May 22, 2023. According to NASA's asteroid tracking data, the asteroid has an estimated size of 33 feet.

This celestial object is classified within the Apollo group, a collection of asteroids named after the pioneering 1862 Apollo, which was the first of its kind to be identified. Will this asteroid be a matter of concern? Here is what NASA says.

Asteroid 2023 KA2

Based on NASA's CNEOS data, the asteroid is zooming through space at an astonishing pace of 57597 kilometers per hour. Information from indicates that this asteroid completes a single orbit around the Sun in approximately 1084 days. However, the aspect causing the greatest concern is its uncomfortably close approach to Earth. It is set to pass at a distance of a mere 253,000 miles, which is nearly equivalent to the distance between the Moon and Earth. It is worth highlighting that the average distance separating Earth and the Moon is approximately 239,000 miles.

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Is it potentially hazardous? The responsibility of evaluating the risk of near-Earth objects that approach our planet is that of the Center for NEO Studies at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It maintains a list that assesses the potential impact hazards by asteroids. NASA's JPL employs the term "potentially hazardous objects" to label space rocks that come within 4.6 million miles of Earth and have a size larger than approximately 150 meters.

Although Asteroid 2023 KA2 does not meet the criteria for being categorized as potentially hazardous based on its size, its close approach to Earth is a cause for concern. This is because even a slight deviation from its orbit could lead to a collision with Earth causing regional damage.

NASA's tech behind asteroid tracking

Astronomers use optical and radio telescopes to study the size, shape, rotation, and physical composition of these asteroids. Those near-Earth objects that come close enough to Earth are studied in great detail using planetary radar. Such detailed characterization is made possible through the use of radio telescopes located at NASA's Deep Space Network and the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

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First Published Date: 25 May, 17:32 IST