Asteroid 2023 RL approaching Earth at 19376 kmph, NASA says; check key details
While smaller asteroids tend to pass Earth nearly every day, NASA has issued an alert against a bus-sized asteroid that will come very close to the planet soon.
Asteroids are a constantly looming threat to the Earth. NASA actively monitors asteroids to safeguard the planet from potential threats. Their telescopes track newly discovered Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) by recording their positions in the sky, which are then reported to the Minor Planet Center. Subsequently, the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) utilizes this data to calculate the most likely orbit of the asteroid around the Sun. To assess the possibility of an impact and refine the asteroid's true orbit, NASA employs the Sentry program, which employs a unique algorithm. Sentry randomly selects points within the entire region of uncertainty, allowing it to focus even on extremely improbable impact scenarios. The same process was undertaken for the latest asteroid that has come racing by.
Asteroid 2023 RL:
This space rock has been given the designation of Asteroid 2023 RL. This asteroid is on its way toward Earth and will make its closest approach to the planet today. Asteroid 2023 RL has a width of just 24 feet which makes it as big as the size of a bus.
Asteroid 2023 RL is already rushing towards Earth at a speed of 19376 kilometers per hour and will miss the planet by a distance of just 755,000 kilometers, as per NASA. It belongs to the family of theAten group of asteroids. The Aten family of asteroids is named after the 2062 Aten. It was the first of its kind and was discovered on 7 January 1976 by American astronomer Eleanor Helin at the Palomar Observatory.
As NASA explains, this is a mid-sized asteroid whose orbit could bring it in close proximity to Earth. It has been classified as a "Near Earth Asteroid" due to its orbit's proximity to Earth.
Aten orbits the sun every 347 days (0.95 years), coming as close as 0.79 AU and reaching as far as 1.14 AU from the sun.
Is Asteroid 2023 RL hazardous?
According to NASA, asteroids are classified as ‘Potentially Hazardous' if they come within 7.5 million kilometers of Earth and have a size bigger than 150 meters. So asteroid 2023 is not at all a threat to our planet.
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