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?

| Updated on: Feb 16 2023, 10:24 IST
Colossal 2400-foot asteroid, 4 other space rocks to buzz Earth soon
1/5 Asteroid 2023 BC8 - NASA has issued an alert against an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 BC8. The asteroid is expected to fly past Earth closely tomorrow, February 11, at a distance of 5 .9million kilometers. According to NASA, the asteroid is huge with a size of almost 160-foot across. This space rock is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a staggering speed of 50564 kilometers per hour.  (NASA)
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2/5 Asteroid 2021 EP4 - A small 16 feet wide asteroid will fly past Earth by a very close margin on February 13. The asteroid, named Asteroid 2021 EP4, will make its closest approach with the planet at a distance of 7.2 million kilometers. The asteroid is travelling towards the planet at a blistering speed of 22107 kilometers per hour.  (NASA/JPL)
3/5 Asteroid 2022 RG – Another asteroid named 2022 RG will make its closest approach to Earth on February 16, at a distance of 3.1 million kilometers. The asteroid, with a width of 78 feet, is travelling at a staggering speed of 10953 kilometers per hour towards the planet.  (Wikimedia Commons)
4/5 Asteroid 2005 YY128 - NASA has issued an alert against another asteroid named Asteroid 2005 YY128. It is expected to fly past Earth closely on February 16 at a distance of 4.6 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a blistering speed of 88735 kilometers per hour. This asteroid is absolutely massive with a width of almost 2400 feet, making it nearly as big as a bridge!  (Pixabay)
5/5 Asteroid 2020 DG4 - The fifth asteroid which is set to make a close approach is named Asteroid 2020 DG4. It is heading for Earth and is expected to pass by the planet closely on February 17. Asteroid 2020 DG4 is already on its way towards us travelling at a fearsome speed of 24913 kilometers per hour. The asteroid, with a width between 20 feet and 45 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of just 552,381 kilometers. (Pixabay)
Asteroid 2023 CJ2
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Asteroid 2023 CJ2 is set to make a close approach to Earth today. (Pixabay)

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 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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First Published Date: 16 Feb, 10:22 IST