Asteroid warning! Aircraft-sized space rock approaching Earth at fearsome speed TODAY

Asteroids have been threatening Earth with extremely close approaches recently, and now another one is set to pass the planet today. Know its speed, distance, size, and more.

| Updated on: Jul 06 2023, 10:21 IST
880-foot to just 31-foot wide, as many as 5 asteroids approaching Earth, NASA says
1/5 Asteroid 2023 HO6 – Asteroid 2023 HO6 will make its extremely close approach to the planet today, July 5. The asteroid, with a huge width of 570 feet, will approach at a distance of 2 million kilometers and at a speed of nearly 27969 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
2/5 Asteroid 2023 ME4 - Asteroid 2023 ME4 is another space rock that is currently heading towards Earth and will pass by Earth tomorrow, July 6. The asteroid is almost 100 feet wide, travelling at almost 38401 kilometers per hour while making its closest approach at 1.1 million kilometers.  (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroid 2023 LH2 – Asteroid 2023 LH2, with a width of nearly 110 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth tomorrow, July 6. The space rock is already rushing towards Earth at a speed of 28544 kilometers per hour and will miss the planet by a distance of 7.2 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2019 LH5 – Asteroid 2019 LH5 is heading for Earth and will make a close approach on July 7. This almost 880-foot wide asteroid is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 77938 kilometers per hour. It will pass Earth at a close distance of 5.7 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
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5/5 Asteroid 2018 NW – Asteroid 2018 NW will make its closest approach to Earth on July 10. In terms of size, this is a 31-foot wide asteroid. As per NASA, it will come as close as 6.9 million kilometers and is already moving at a breakneck speed of 78542 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 LH2 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

Asteroids have the potential to cause armageddon on Earth, especially if they crash in a densely populated area. To counter this very threat to life, space agencies keep developing technology for asteroid prevention and countermeasures. While NASA's DART Test successfully deflected an asteroid off its course, other organizations are mounting up planetary defense efforts. The latest planetary protection effort comes from a California-based nonprofit organization that is looking to meet this threat by designing a new asteroid deflection system that would use the space rock's own regolith to change its trajectory away from Earth.

Now, an asteroid is hurtling towards Earth and will make its closest approach to Earth today.

Asteroid 2023 LH2 details

The asteroid, designated as Asteroid 2023 LH2 by NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), will make its closest approach to Earth today, June 6, at a distance of 7.2 million kilometers. It is dashing towards Earth at a fearsome speed of 28544 kilometers per hour. Asteroid 2023 LH2 belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs).

While this asteroid is travelling at a shockingly fast speed, it is not large enough to cause catastrophic damage to Earth. With a width of nearly of 110 feet, it can be compared to huge aircraft! 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.

Importance and types of asteroids

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. The three primary classifications of asteroids are C-type, S-type, and M-type. C-type asteroids, which are composed primarily of carbon-rich substances, are the most frequent. S-type asteroids, which are made up mainly of silicate minerals, are less common. M-type asteroids, which are primarily composed of metal, are the least prevalent.

But why are studies on asteroids so important? Scientists say that research is critical since it can provide valuable information on the early stages of the solar system and planetary development. Furthermore, these celestial bodies might contain useful resources such as metals and water, which may be utilized in forthcoming space missions.

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First Published Date: 06 Jul, 10:20 IST