Asteroid to pass Earth by just 721,000 km today, reveals NASA; Know how big it is | Tech News

Asteroid to pass Earth by just 721,000 km today, reveals NASA; Know how big it is

NASA has revealed details about an asteroid that is expected to pass Earth by a close margin today, April 1. From its size to the speed at which it is approaching the planet, know all about it.

| Updated on: Apr 01 2024, 10:50 IST
5 asteroids will pass Earth in the coming days, reveals NASA; Know the size, speed, and more
1/5 Asteroid 2024 ER4: The first asteroid on the list is Asteroid 2024 ER4, which will come close to Earth on March 17, 2024. The space rock is estimated to be 37 feet wide and moving at a speed of 29879 kilometres per hour. On the specified date, the asteroid 2024 EH will approach within 162,000 kilometres. (Pixabay)
2/5 Asteroid 2024 EP3: The next asteroid, Asteroid 2024 EP3, is 130 feet wide and will travel past the earth on March 17, 2024. The asteroid is travelling at 32193 kilometres per hour and will pass the planet at a distance of 4230000 kilometres  (Pixabay)
3/5 JPL reports that the asteroid 2024 ED3 is 96 feet across. The space rock is flying at 35808 kilometres per hour and will pass close to Earth on March 18, 2024. On the specified day, the asteroid will pass by Earth at a distance of around 135000 kilometres. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2024 EN: The next space rock is Asteroid 2024 EN, which measures 140 feet wide. The asteroid is expected to come near to Earth on March 9, 2024. According to NASA, the asteroid is hurtling at 43101 miles per hour and will pass Earth at a distance of 1.4 million kilometres. (NASA)
5/5 Asteroid 2024 EN3: The last asteroid scheduled to approach Earth is Asteroid 2024 EN3, which is predicted to be 55 feet wide. The asteroid is now moving at a speed of 22855 kilometres per hour. It is expected to pass within 2.1 million kilometres of Earth. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2024 FQ3 belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), says NASA. (Pixabay)

The first day of April is set to get a celestial visitor in the form of an asteroid. With the help of its advanced ground and space-based telescopes, NASA has shed light on an asteroid that has been observed travelling in its orbit, with a trajectory that will bring it close to Earth today, April 1. 

Also Read: 8 stellar images of Black Holes captured by NASA

Asteroid 2024 FQ3

NASA says Asteroid 2024 FQ3 is just one of the millions of asteroids that revolve around the Sun. These space rocks are mostly present in the main asteroid belt, located between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies or CNEOS is responsible for keeping an eye on similar celestial objects, and it has revealed that Asteroid 2024 FQ3 will pass Earth today by a distance of 721,000 kilometers. That is less than twice the distance from Earth to the Moon! 

Also Read: 10 best images captured by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope in 2023

It is travelling around the Sun in its orbit at a menacing speed of approximately 69357 kilometers per hour. This is much faster even a space shuttle! It belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, which are Earth-crossing space rocks with semi-major axes larger than Earth's. These asteroids are named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.

How big is it?

In terms of size, the asteroid is just 38 feet wide and can be compared to a bus. While it is not expected to impact Earth's surface, NASA has still declared it as a Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) due to its close distance of approach to the planet.

Also Read: What are asteroids and how ESA is tracking them

How does NASA track asteroids?

NASA says as soon as its telescopes track a new NEA, the asteroid's observed positions in the sky are observed by astronomers and reported to the Minor Planet Center. Then, the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) determines its most likely orbit around the Sun by studying the data.

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First Published Date: 01 Apr, 10:50 IST