Asteroid hurtling towards Earth today at a mind-numbing 31394 kmph, reveals NASA
A house-sized asteroid is hurtling towards Earth for its first-ever close approach to today, October 11. Know its size, distance of approach and other details, as per NASA.
On September 8, 2016, NASA launched a historic mission - the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx). It was launched to study a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) called Bennu, which has a 1/2700 chance of impacting Earth between 2175 and 2195. After a 6-year journey that involved landing on the asteroid and collecting samples from its surface, the spacecraft finally returned the samples last month, after which they underwent a “nitrogen purge”. Today, NASA will finally open up the canister returned by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and show off the asteroid sample to the world in an event that will be live-streamed. You can watch it online here.
Asteroid 2023 TF4: Details of close approach
NASA has warned that an asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2023 TF4, is on its way towards Earth and will make its closest approach to the planet today, October 11. Whilst this space rock will come very close to the planet, it is not expected to impact the surface. This asteroid is travelling at a staggering speed of 31394 kilometers per hour and will pass Earth at a distance of 2.2 million kilometers.
Astonishingly, Asteroid 2023 TF4 is just one of the five asteroids that will pass by Earth closely today!
According to NASA, Asteroid 2023 TF4 is almost the size of a house with a width of 49 feet! Due to its relatively small size, this asteroid has not been classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object. Only celestial bodies with a size greater than 492 feet and which pass Earth closer than 7.5 million kilometers are termed so.
It belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids which are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.
Interestingly, NASA has revealed that this asteroid has not come close to Earth in its history, and this will be its first-ever close approach. After today, it is not expected to pass Earth anytime soon, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
More From This Section