Asteroid danger! Aircraft-sized asteroid to buzz Earth today; NASA shares key info
An asteroid is all set to make a very close approach to Earth today, according to NASA. Will this space rock impact the surface and cause damage to any extent?
Also known as Minor Planets, asteroids are part of the rocky, airless remnants of the ancient space rubble left over from the formation of our solar system nearly 4.6 billion years ago. Although these space rocks are mostly present in the main asteroid belt, they can sometimes divert from their trajectory and head towards Earth and other planets for impact.
Now, the organization has warned that an asteroid is hurtling towards Earth today and it is doing so at a fearsome speed.
Asteroid 2023 CJ2 key details
NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which keeps an eye on dangerous Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), has red-flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 CJ2 due to its extremely close approach to the planet. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth today, February 16, at a distance of 2.6 million kilometers.
According to NASA, this asteroid is moving at a fearsome speed. It has been clocked at a speed of nearly 29615 kilometers per hour. Although Asteroid 2023 CJ2 will miss the planet, it will come very close to it. NASA estimates the asteroid size at about 91 feet wide, making it nearly the size of an aircraft.
According to NASA, the orbits of asteroids can be changed by Jupiter's massive gravity and by occasional close encounters with planets like Mars or other objects. These accidental encounters can knock asteroids out of the main belt and hurl them into space in all directions across the orbits of the other planets.
Did you know?
A new study has revealed that dinosaurs were in their prime when the fateful asteroid struck, sending them into extinction. The study revealed that dinosaurs were in the prime of their lives during the late Cretaceous period when the asteroid ended their lives abruptly, according to phys.org report.
Simply put, the uncertainty around asteroids is immense. They come in all shapes and sizes and there are so many of them and new ones can be formed through collisions among them too. Just think, the asteroid belt itself has a huge amount of them in close proximity to each other.
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