Asteroid 2024 CP4 set for an Earth flyby today, says NASA; Know how close it will get | Tech News

Asteroid 2024 CP4 set for an Earth flyby today, says NASA; Know how close it will get

An Apollo-group asteroid has been tracked in its orbit and it is expected to pass Earth by a close margin today, February 16, NASA has revealed. Know how big is the asteroid and how close it will get.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Feb 16 2024, 11:37 IST
Asteroid
Asteroid 2024 CP4 belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, according to NASA. (Pixabay)
Asteroid
Asteroid 2024 CP4 belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, according to NASA. (Pixabay)

As many as 3 asteroids passed by Earth yesterday and all of them did so at breakneck speeds. Asteroids revolve around the Sun in their own orbits and are located in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. But sometimes, these space rocks interact with a large planet's gravitational field which can send them tumbling towards the planet for potential impact. Space agencies keep a check on the orbits of these space rocks to avoid a potential collision scenario. They have also developed technology to track these space rocks in their orbits, and even deflect them in case a potential impact scenario develops.

NASA, with the help of its advanced space and ground-based telescopes, has recently tracked the asteroid that is set to pass Earth today, February 16.

Asteroid 2024 CP4: Details

The asteroid has been given the designation of Asteroid 2024 CP4 by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). It is travelling in its orbit at a breakneck speed of around 41804 kilometers per hour, which is even faster than Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)! As per the US Space Agency, this asteroid will come as close as 2.1 million kilometers to Earth today.

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 95 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 asteroid is almost triple the size of the Chelyabinsk asteroid!

Asteroid 2024 CP4 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 2024 CP4 has passed Earth before. It first flew past the planet on January 25, 1968, at a distance of almost 37 million kilometers. NASA says that after today, this asteroid will come close again on June 5, 2027, and it will pass the planet by a distance of 33 million kilometers.

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First Published Date: 16 Feb, 11:37 IST
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