Building-sized asteroid racing towards Earth, warns NASA; check speed and close approach
NASA has revealed details of a close encounter with an asteroid that is nearly the size of the Tunguska space rock that caused catastrophic damage in 1908. Know details of the close approach.
In the past decade, there have been several close calls with asteroids. While none of them have caused enough damage to wipe out life on Earth, they have impacted the surface and given us a stern indication of their destructive potential. In 2013, a mere 59 feet wide space rock, which is no bigger than a small house, was observed rushing towards Chelyabinsk in Russia at a speed of 65000 kilometers per hour and exploded over the city. While its impact was non-fatal, it still injured as many as 1400 people and damaged over 7000 buildings.
Due to such close calls, NASA, ESA, and other space agencies have developed technology to track asteroids in their orbits, and even deflect them in case a potential impact scenario develops. With this advanced tech, NASA has now revealed details about an asteroid that will come close to Earth today.
Asteroid 2023 QG4
An asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2023 QG4, is on its way towards Earth and could make its closest approach to the planet today, August 25. NASA revealed these shocking details after tracking the asteroid's orbit using its various satellites and space and ground-based telescopes. As per the details, Asteroid 2023 QG4 is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 2.5 million kilometers, and at a staggering speed of 86530 kilometers per hour, which is even faster than NASA's Voyager 1 probe that was launched in 1977 to study the outer solar system and interstellar space.
This space rock 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?
Asteroid 2023 QG4 is almost 340 feet wide, which is not big enough to cause a catastrophe, therefore it has not been classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object. In terms of size, it can be compared to a building.
It is almost the same size as the Tunguska asteroid which Yeniseysk Governorate, Russia. It decimated nearly 2150 square kilometers of forest area and scored the ground. This resulting explosion was recorded at almost 12 megatons.
This event was termed the “largest cosmic event ever witnessed by humans” by David Morrison, a planetary science researcher at the NASA Ames Research Center.
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