Asteroid as big as an aircraft hurtling towards Earth! Know details of close encounter

NASA has revealed details of an upcoming close encounter with an asteroid that will pass the planet closely today, July 20. Know details.

| Updated on: Jul 20 2023, 10:55 IST
Aircraft-sized asteroid and 4 other space rocks racing towards Earth! Close approaches soon
1/5 Asteroid 2023 OA – Asteroid 2023 OA, which is just 58 feet wide, is heading for Earth and will make a close approach today, July 19. This asteroid is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 26989 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a close distance of 2.3 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
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2/5 Asteroid 2023 NE1 – Asteroid 2023 NE1 will also make its closest approach to Earth today, July 19. In terms of size, it is almost 190 feet wide. As per NASA, it will come as close as 4.8 million kilometers and is already moving at a speed of 20410 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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3/5 Asteroid 2020 OM – Asteroid 2020 OM will make its extremely close approach to the planet tomorrow, July 20. The asteroid, with a width of 44 feet, will approach at a distance of 6 million kilometers and at a speed of nearly 34145 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2022 GX2 - Asteroid 2022 GX2, is currently heading towards Earth and will pass by Earth tomorrow, July 20. The asteroid is tiny with a width of just 15 feet. It is travelling at almost 33804 kilometers per hour and will make its closest approach at 4.5 million kilometers.  (Pixabay)
5/5 Asteroid 2023 NL –  Yet another asteroid named Asteroid 2023 NL, with a width of nearly 140 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth tomorrow, July 20. The space rock is already rushing towards Earth at a speed of 19664 kilometers per hour and will miss the planet by a distance of 7.3 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 NL belongs to the Amor group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

When asteroids enter a planet's atmosphere, most of them burn up without ever reaching the surface. But only a handful of them ever touch the ground, and even when they do, these space rocks explode, sending debris flying all around. However, it wasn't the case on July 6 when a meteor crashed and hit a woman who was sipping coffee on her terrace! According to a report by the local French newspaper Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, a woman sitting on her terrace in the village of Alsace in Eastern France was struck by a meteor that bounced off the roof and hit her chest.

Later, she got the rock examined by a geologist named Dr. Thierry Rebmann, who confirmed that it was indeed a meteorite from outer space!

While not expected to impact Earth, NASA has issued a warning against an asteroid that will have a close encounter with Earth today.

Asteroid 2023 NL

An asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2023 NL, is on its way towards Earth and could make its closest approach to the planet today, July 20. NASA revealed these shocking details after tracking the asteroid's orbit using its various satellites and space and ground-based telescopes. As per the details, Asteroid 2023 NL is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 7.3 million kilometers, and at a speed of 19664 kilometers per hour, as per NASA.

This space rock belongs to the Amor group of Near-Earth Asteroids which are Earth-approaching near-Earth asteroids with orbits exterior to Earth but interior to Mars', named after asteroid 1221 Amor, which was discovered by Belgian astronomer E. Delporte in 1932.

How big is it?

According to NASA, the asteroid that is approaching Earth is not expected to crash and isn't big enough to be classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object. To end all life on Earth, an asteroid would have to be at least 96 kilometers wide.

On the other hand, Asteroid 2023 NL is almost 140 feet wide, which is not big enough to cause a catastrophe. In terms of size, it can be compared to an aircraft and is big enough to cause some degree of damage if it crashed in populated areas.

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First Published Date: 20 Jul, 10:54 IST