Asteroid, as big as Boeing 777, is hurtling towards Earth; NASA shares the details

Asteroid 2023 PM1 is moving towards the Earth and will make its closest approach on August 21, 2023. Here’s what NASA has revealed about this space rock.

| Updated on: Aug 19 2023, 14:41 IST
Burj Khalifa-sized asteroid, 4 other space rocks hurtling towards Earth; check speed, other details
asteroid  2023 PM1
1/5 Asteroid 2023 PD1 - Asteroid 2023 PD1, is currently heading towards Earth and will pass closely by Earth today, August 18. The asteroid is nearly the size of an aircraft with a width of 95 feet. It is travelling at almost 26962 kilometers per hour and will make its closest approach at 5.8 million kilometers.  (Pixabay)
asteroid  2023 PM1
2/5 Asteroid 2011 QJ21 – Asteroid 2011 QJ21, which is nearly 140 feet wide, is heading for Earth and will make its closest approach to Earth on August 19. This space rock is moving at a blistering speed of 54196 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a close distance of 4.9 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
asteroid  2023 PM1
3/5 Asteroid 2023 PM1 – Another asteroid given the designation Asteroid 2023 PM1 will make its closest approach to Earth on August 21. In terms of size, it is almost 220 feet wide. As per NASA, it will come as close as 3.1 million kilometers and is already moving at a speed of 66861 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
asteroid  2023 PM1
4/5 Asteroid 2023 PM – Asteroid 2023 PM will make its extremely close approach to the planet on August 22. The asteroid, with a width between 154 and 328 feet, will approach at a distance of 3.6 million kilometers and a speed of nearly 25082 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
asteroid  2023 PM1
5/5 Asteroid 1988 EG – Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 1988 EG, with a width between 1410 feet and 3149 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth on August 23. The space rock is already rushing towards Earth at a speed of 51309 kilometers per hour and will miss the planet by a distance of 6 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
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NASA has revealed that an asteroid designated as Asteroid 2023 PM1 will be making its closest approach to the Earth soon. (Pixabay)

Asteroids will always be a matter of concern for the Earth. Therefore, their detection and monitoring is necessary. One meteor named the Chelyabinsk meteor exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk in the southern Urals region of Russia on February 15, 2013. It injured 1,500 people with flying glass from broken windows. The Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), a branch of NASA, monitors the skies and keeps a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). The organization has recently issued a warning against an asteroid designated as Asteroid 2023 PM1. It is just one of the millions of asteroids that have been discovered to date. NASA keeps an eye on the asteroids with the help of advanced ground and space-based telescopes and satellites.

Asteroid 2023 PM1

This asteroid is on its way toward the planet, 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 which makes it almost as big as the Boeing 777!

The space agency has also revealed that Asteroid 2023 PM1 belongs to the Apollo family. 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 Chelyabinsk meteor was also from the Apollo Family. The closest approach of this asteroid to the Earth will be 1.94 million km.

DART mission

In 2022, NASA conducted the inaugural test of its DART Mission, aiming to safeguard against asteroid threats. By crashing a spacecraft into an incoming asteroid, they successfully altered its trajectory, demonstrating an effective method for asteroid deflection. Meanwhile, ESA has initiated the NEOMIR mission, designed as an early warning system for larger asteroids (20 meters and up) that aren't visible from Earth's surface.

While NASA experts predict no asteroid impacts on Earth within the next century, the significance of planetary defense measures remains crucial. These measures can play a pivotal role in preventing potential loss of life in the event of an asteroid speeding towards our planet.

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First Published Date: 19 Aug, 14:41 IST