Asteroid 2023 QR to get extremely close to Earth today at just 129,000 miles, says NASA

An Apollo group asteroid is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today, August 20. According to details revealed by NASA, it is hurtling toward the planet and will get very close!

| Updated on: Aug 20 2023, 11:01 IST
5 giant asteroids approaching Earth! Speed to size, NASA reveals details
asteroid  2023 QR
1/5 Asteroid 2011 QJ21: This asteroid is set to make a close approach to Earth on August 19, as per NASA. The asteroid is rushing at a massive speed toward Earth. As per Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) data, this asteroid  is travelling towards Earth at a rapid speed of 54196 km per hour. Asteroid QJ21 will get as near as 4,960,000 km to the Earth. This may look like a huge distance, but in astronomical terms, it is quite small. (Pixabay)
asteroid  2023 QR
2/5  Asteroid 2023 PM1: This asteroid is on its way toward the Earth, traveling at a speed of 66860 kilometers per hour. It was first observed on 13 August and the last observation was made on 18 August. As NASA suggests, this asteroid is not big enough to be called a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid. The asteroid 2023 PM1 is almost 220 feet wide and will make its approach on August 21. (Pixabay)
asteroid  2023 QR
3/5 Asteroid 2023 QE: This Bus sized asteroid will make its closest approach on Earth on August 2021. The size of this asteroid is 37 Feet wide and will approach Earth at a distance of 2.07 million KM. The speed of this asteroid will be 23609 km per hour.  (NASA)
asteroid  2023 QR
4/5 Asteroid 2023 PM: The asteroid designated as 2023 PM will approach Earth on August 21. It is of the Amor family of asteroids. It will approach Earth at a speed of 25081 KM per hour. It was observed on 8 August. It is not big enough to pose any threat to Earth.  (Pixabay)
asteroid  2023 QR
5/5 Asteroid 2023 QF: According to NASA, this asteroid will approach Earth on August 23. It belongs to the Apollo family of asteroids. It will approach Earth at a speed of 19584 KM per hour. It was last observed on 18 August. (Pixabay)
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The size of this asteroid is just 16 feet wide and is not big enough to become a potential threat for Earth. (Pixabay)

Asteroids have become top billing in news ever since it was first surmised that one such space rock had caused the demise of the dinosaurs. However, did you know that asteroids are sometimes called minor planets? According to NASA, asteroids are rocky parts that were left from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. The size of the asteroids ranges from 530 km in diameter to 10 m. These space rocks are usually observed in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. However, there is a probability of asteroids being threat to our planet. Therefore, it is extremely important to track them. 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.

When NASA's telescopes track a new Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA), astronomers measure the asteroid's observed positions in the sky and report them to the Minor Planet Center. The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) then uses that data to determine the asteroid's most likely orbit around the Sun.

Asteroid 2023 QR details

The asteroid which has given the designation of Asteroid 2023 QR- by NASA, is on its way towards Earth today, August 20. The asteroid was tracked by NASA's Defense Coordination Office (PDCO). It is responsible for monitoring the skies and keeping a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). The size of this asteroid is just 16 feet wide. Its size is not big enough to become a potential threat for Earth. However, its closest approach to Earth can be a concern.

It is hurtling towards the planet at a blistering speed of 75165 kilometers per hour and will pass the planet at a distance of about 129,000 miles, which categorises it as Near-Earth Objects (NEOs).

The space agency has also revealed that Asteroid 2023 QR belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. The Apollo asteroids constitute a collection of Earth-crossing asteroids designated after the discovery of the 1862 Apollo by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth during the 1930s. The dangerous Chelyabinsk meteor which exploded over the city in the southern Urals region of Russia on February 15, 2013, was also from the Apollo Family. It injured over 1,000 people after windows exploded and flying glass hit people inside.

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First Published Date: 20 Aug, 11:01 IST