Bus-sized asteroid to pass Earth by a close margin, NASA says; Know details of close encouner | Tech News

Bus-sized asteroid to pass Earth by a close margin, NASA says; Know details of close encouner

With the help of its advanced tech, NASA has discovered yet another asteroid that is expected to pass Earth by a close margin today, December 13. Know the details of this close encounter with Asteroid 2023 XH7.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Dec 13 2023, 10:31 IST
From 49 feet to 150 feet, 5 asteroids to pass Earth soon, says NASA
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1/5 Asteroid 2023 XP1 - The first asteroid to pass Earth today, December 11, is Asteroid 2023 XP1. During its approach, it will come as close as 5.8 million kilometers. According to NASA, the space rock is approximately 131 feet wide and is travelling at a speed of almost 34493 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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2/5 Asteroid 2023 XH2 – The second asteroid on its way is designated Asteroid 2023 XH2, and it will pass by Earth today, December 11. According to NASA, this space rock has a width of nearly 59 feet. Its orbit will take it almost as close as 1.9 million kilometers to the planet’s surface while moving at a speed of 36173 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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3/5 Asteroid 2010 XF3 – Asteroid 2010 XF3 will pass by Earth today, December 11. During its close approach, it will come as close as 7.4 million kilometers to the planet’s surface. With a width of nearly 150 feet, the space rock is speeding towards Earth at 14304 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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4/5 Asteroid 2023 XN3 – Another space rock named Asteroid 2023 XN3 will pass Earth tomorrow, December 12. In terms of size, the asteroid is almost 49 feet wide. As per NASA, it will come as close as 5.2 million kilometers and is already moving at a breakneck speed of 29982 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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5/5 Asteroid 2023 WO3 – Another asteroid designated Asteroid 2023 WO3 will pass Earth tomorrow, December 12. According to NASA, this 137 feet wide asteroid is travelling at almost 33442 kilometers per hour and will pass the planet at a distance of 3.5 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 XH7 belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), says NASA. (Pixabay)

As many as four asteroids passed by Earth yesterday as their orbits brought them dangerously close to the planet. The most notable among them was designated Asteroid 2023 XO1 by NASA, and it was discovered using the space agency's advanced ground and space-based telescopes such as NEOWISE telescope, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), Pans-STARRS1 and Catalina Sky Survey. With the help of such advanced tech, NASA has discovered yet another asteroid that is expected to pass Earth by a close margin today, December 13. Know the details of this close encounter with Asteroid 2023 XH7.

Asteroid 2023 XH7: Close approach details

As per the details revealed by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), Asteroid 2023 XH7 is expected to pass Earth at a distance of just 940,148 kilometers. It is already travelling towards Earth in its orbit at 71276 kilometers per hour which is almost as fast as a space shuttle!

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.

According to NASA, Asteroid 2023 XH7 has passed Earth before and this is not its first close approach to Earth. This asteroid passed Earth for the first time ever on Jul 5, 2020, at a distance of about 9.7 million kilometers. After today, it will come close to Earth again on July 22, 2033, at a distance of 63 million kilometers.

NASA says that this asteroid does not threaten Earth due to its relatively small size. With a width of just 34 feet, Asteroid 2023 XH7 is only as big as a bus. On the other hand, asteroids bigger than 492 feet and which pass Earth closer than 7.5 million kilometers are classified as ‘Potentially Hazardous Objects'.

How does NASA track an asteroid?

When NASA's telescopes such as the NEOWISE telescope, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), Pans-STARRS1, and Catalina Sky Survey track a new Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA), astronomers measure the asteroid's observed positions in the sky and report them to the Minor Planet Center. The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) then uses that data to determine the asteroid's most likely orbit around the Sun, according to NASA.

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First Published Date: 13 Dec, 10:30 IST
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