Asteroid bigger than the famous Brooklyn Bridge to pass Earth today! NASA reveals details

An Aten group, bridge-sized asteroid’s orbit will bring it close to Earth today, November 2. Check the details of this close encounter.

| Updated on: Nov 02 2023, 11:43 IST
Geomagnetic storm strikes Earth; know what happened
1/5 The Sun is fascinating and its impact on Earth and humanity is varied- good and bad. While it may be responsible for life on Earth, there is no denying that the Sun's volatile nature can be very destructive. And since the dawn of the digital age, this detrimental impact has increased manifold. It all boils down to the fact that when the Sun blasts out huge amounts of energy, solar flares, solar wind, CME, and more, they can fry all the electronics on Earth and in the sky, if it is powerful enough. Fortunately, that is rare. (Unsplash)
2/5 Now, just three days ago, informed  that solar winds are rushing towards the Earth and they may spark a geomagnetic storm. Well, those solar winds did hit the Earth yesterday, October 30. According to NASA, there were no signs of a coronal mass ejection when the hit did happen. (Pixabay)
3/5 This phenomenon was initiated when a gigantic hole opened up in the Sun, letting loose solar winds, which caused a G-1 class geomagnetic storm on Earth.The fascinating images released by NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory show the giant hole through which solar flares were released.  (Pixabay)
4/5 As per a  report by SpaceWeather, “As predicted, a fast-moving stream of solar wind is blowing around Earth today, Oct. 30th. The gaseous material is flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun's atmosphere. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for auroras shining through almost-full Moonlight”.  (Pixabay)
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5/5 As informed by NASA, this geomagnetic storm was too weak to be a tangible threat. It sparked some auroras which were only limited to the Arctic Circle. NASA has released a short video of the Sun, in which you can see the solar winds being released from the surface.  (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2003 UC20 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

The Earth is nearly 4.5 billion years old, and it has withstood many asteroid impacts in its history. One of the most profound impacts occurred almost 65 million years ago when a mammoth 12-kilometer-wide asteroid crashed into the surface and obliterated nearly 70 percent of Earth's species including dinosaurs. Astonishingly, you can still find the asteroid's impact crater today located in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Due to the constant barrage of asteroids, NASA and other space agencies developed an arsenal of space and ground-based telescopes to discover and track these ancient space rocks.

With the help of its advanced tech, NASA has now revealed that a mammoth, bridge-sized asteroid is set to pass Earth today. Know all about this close encounter.

Asteroid 2003 UC20: Details

Asteroid 2003 UC20 has piqued the interest of astronomers and NASA experts due to its colossal size. According to NASA, the asteroid is estimated to be roughly 2200 feet wide, which is comparable in size to a large bridge, possibly the famous Brooklyn Bridge! Given its enormity, if Asteroid 2003 UC20 were to collide with the planet, it could potentially cause immense destruction, especially if it landed in a densely populated region.

As per the space agency, Asteroid 2003 UC20 is set to pass Earth at its nearest distance today, November 2, at a distance of 5.2 million kilometers. While this distance may seem considerable, it's relatively minor in terms of astronomical measurements, considering the massive size of the asteroid. Asteroid 2003 UC20 is already moving towards Earth in its orbit at a fiery speed of 28694 kilometers per hour!

It has been added to NASA's Close Approaches list and has also been declared as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid due to its close distance of approach as well as its enormous size. This is bigger than the famous Brooklyn Bridge!

It belongs to the Aten group of asteroids, which are Earth-crossing Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) with semi-major axes smaller than Earth's. They are named after the asteroid 2062 Aten and the first of its kind was discovered by American astronomer Eleanor Helin at Palomar Observatory on January 7, 1976.

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First Published Date: 02 Nov, 11:43 IST