Asteroid 2023 XZ11 to pass by Earth today, says NASA; Know how close it will get | Tech News

Asteroid 2023 XZ11 to pass by Earth today, says NASA; Know how close it will get

NASA has shed light on an Apollo-group asteroid expected to pass Earth by a close margin today. Know its speed, size, distance of approach, and other details.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Dec 15 2023, 11:28 IST
Heading toward the Sun, Aditya-L1 mission camera took stunning image of Earth and Moon
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1/7 Aditya-L1, India's first solar space observatory mission, has been capturing remarkable images during its journey to the Sun-Earth L1 point. Launched on September 2, the spacecraft is currently in its way to its parking place known as L1 in the Sun-Earth system. (ISRO)
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2/7 The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has released intriguing image of Earth and Moon taken from Aditya-L1 spacecraft. The spacecraft's on-board camera captured a selfie, revealing a segment of the vehicle itself. Additionally, images of the Earth and the Moon showcase a brilliantly illuminated Earth and a small white speck representing our lunar neighbour. (ISRO)
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3/7 Aditya-L1 is equipped with cutting-edge instruments for solar exploration. The Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) will delve into the solar corona's inner layers, previously unexplored. The Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) will study solar atmosphere layers using UV wavelengths inaccessible from Earth. (ISRO)
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4/7 Aditya-L1 is equipped with cutting-edge instruments for solar exploration. The Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) will delve into the solar corona's inner layers, previously unexplored. The Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) will study solar atmosphere layers using UV wavelengths inaccessible from Earth. (ISRO Facebook)
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5/7 Earth-Bound Manoeuvres: Currently undergoing Earth-bound manoeuvres, Aditya-L1 is adjusting its orbit and velocity. These manoeuvres are crucial for the spacecraft to attain the required velocity for its journey to the Sun-Earth L1 point. (ANI)
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6/7 After completing Earth-bound manoeuvres, Aditya-L1 will execute a Trans-Lagrangian Insertion (TLI) manoeuvre, initiating its 110-day trajectory to the L1 point. Travelling 1.5 million kilometres, the spacecraft will reach the L1 point, providing an uninterrupted 24x7 view of the Sun. (ISRO)
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7/7 Objectives: Aditya-L1 mission is dedicated to comprehensively studying the Sun. With seven distinct payloads, including contributions from academic institutions, the satellite will investigate coronal heating, solar wind acceleration, coronal mass ejections (CMEs), solar atmosphere dynamics, and temperature anisotropy. Positioned in an irregular orbit around L1, Aditya-L1 marks India's foray into understanding solar activities and their impact on space weather. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 XZ11 belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, according to NASA. (Pixabay)

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. NASA, with the help of its advanced space and ground-based telescopes, has recently tracked the asteroid that is set to pass Earth today, December 15, and shed light on details such as its speed, distance of approach, and more.

Asteroid 2023 XZ11: Details

The asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2023 XZ11, is travelling towards Earth in its orbit at a breakneck speed of 52929 kilometers per hour, which is even faster than Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)! NASA expects this space rock to fly past Earth at a close margin of approximately 1.4 million kilometers.

While this asteroid will pass by closely, it isn't big enough to cause panic or any potential damage. As per NASA, the asteroid is 100 feet wide, making it almost as big as an aircraft. However, if it crashes on Earth, it could still cause damage to a certain degree. In 2013, a smaller 59-foot asteroid exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk in Russia, damaging 7000 buildings and injuring over 1000 people injured.

This space rock 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.

NASA has also revealed that Asteroid 2023 XZ11 has not passed Earth before and this will be its first-ever close approach. After today, this Apollo group asteroid is not expected to pass by the planet anytime in the near future.

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First Published Date: 15 Dec, 11:28 IST
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