Close call! Aircraft-sized asteroid coming, NASA reveals details
An aircraft-sized asteroid could make its closest approach to Earth today, NASA has warned. Shockingly, it is the size of an aircraft! Know details.
NASA is gearing up to launch its Psyche mission from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on October 5 at 10:38 a.m. EDT, and it has now called upon digital content creators to cover this amazing feat. The Psyche spacecraft, assisted by a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, will lift off from Launch Complex 39A and will undertake a journey to an asteroid called 16 Psyche, which is located in the main asteroid belt, between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars.
Alongside 16 Psyche asteroid, another asteroid has piqued the interest of scientists lately as it will be making its closest approach to Earth in years today, August 24.
Asteroid 2023 QN2
NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has designated this space rock as Asteroid 2023 QN2, making it one of the 1298148 asteroids that have been discovered to date. As per NASA, it will make its closest approach to Earth today, August 24, and will pass at a distance of about 7.3 million kilometers. Asteroid 2023 QN2 has already been tracked hurtling towards Earth in its orbit, travelling at a blistering speed of 55546 kilometers per hour, which is much faster than a hypersonic ballistic missile!
While it will pass the planet closely, the asteroid does not pose any danger yet, due to its relatively small size. According to NASA, it is around 150 feet wide, making it almost as big as an aircraft. However, it still does not qualify as a Potentially Hazardous Object as it does not fit the criteria.
Asteroid 2023 QN2 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.
About Psyche mission
One of the most shocking discoveries about the 16 Psyche asteroid is that it could be worth more than the whole Earth's economy put together! According to NASA, the 16 Psyche asteroid, which is one of the biggest asteroids in our Solar System, is made up of gold, nickel, and iron deposits and is supposedly worth more than Earth's economy. It is worth a staggering $10 quadrillion! Other than its gold-rich structure, the outer surface of this asteroid is nickel-rich which resembles an early planet's core.
With its Psyche mission, scientists have a chance to study how terrestrial planets were formed, without having to carve up the Earth.
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