Asteroid today! 110-foot asteroid set to make close Earth approach today, Feb 8

A menacing 110 feet wide asteroid could make its closest approach to Earth as soon as today, NASA has revealed. Know all its details here.

| Updated on: Feb 08 2023, 10:22 IST
What is a lunar eclipse? NASA explains
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1/5 Moons are celestial bodies that orbit planets and even asteroids in our solar system. Earth has one moon, and NASA says there are more than 200 moons in our solar system. Most of the major planets – all except Mercury and Venus – have moons. (REUTERS)
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2/5 Lunar eclipse is when the earth comes between the sun and the moon thereby blocking the sunlight from reaching the moon. It too is of two types. One is a partial lunar eclipse and another is a total lunar eclipse. (Anuwar Hazarika /ANI)
Asteroid belt
3/5 NASA says that a total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon and Sun are on opposite sides of Earth. A partial lunar eclipse happens when only part of Earth's shadow covers the Moon. (REUTERS)
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4/5 During some stages of the lunar eclipse the moon appears reddish. This is because the sunlight remaining reaches the moon at the point from the edges of the earth. (Samir Kar / ANI)
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5/5 American astronauts have planted six flags on the moon but that doesn't mean that the United States has claimed it. There is an international law that prevents anybody to own land on the moon and claiming its stake. (AFP)
Asteroid belt
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Asteroid 2023 BS is nearly the size of an aircraft with a width of 110 feet. (NASA/JPL)

Surveys done by NASA-supported ground-based telescopes – including Pans-STARRS1 in Maui, Hawaii, as well as the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona – have identified thousands of near-Earth objects such as asteroids. Along with that, NASA's space-based telescope called NEOWISE has identified hundreds of others while scanning the skies at near-infrared wavelengths of light from its polar orbit around Earth. NASA uses its ground-based radar to gather precise data about the asteroid's path and its characteristics.

With the help of such advanced tech, NASA has now identified another asteroid that is heading for Earth and could make a close approach as soon as today.

Asteroid 2023 BS

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office has red-flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 BS due to its extremely close approach with the planet. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth today, February 8, at a distance of 7.4 million kilometers per hour. It is already on its way towards the planet travelling at a speed of nearly 39152 kilometers per hour!

Asteroid 2023 BS is particularly concerning due to its huge size. With a width of 110 feet, this asteroid is nearly the size of an aircraft, says NASA. It could cause damage to life and property if it crashed, especially in a densely populated area.

Although this asteroid is not expected to collide with Earth, a slight deviation in its trajectory due to the Earth's gravitational pull can send the asteroid hurtling towards Earth for an impact. Though you should not be worried as NASA has already tested the plan to engage in planetary defense to protect the planet against rogue asteroids through its DART Mission.

Why are asteroids studied?

Scientists study asteroids to learn more about the early solar system and the conditions that existed when the planets were forming. Asteroids can also provide valuable resources such as water, metals, and other minerals. One such discovery was made by studying an asteroid.

Until now, it was believed that water was already present on Earth from earliest times. However, a recent study has made an astonishing discovery that puts this very thought into doubt. The study has revealed that water may have originated on asteroids.

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First Published Date: 08 Feb, 10:11 IST