Close encounter: Massive asteroid the size of a skyscraper to fly past Earth today

    According to NASA, an asteroid the size of a building is set to make a near pass today. Further details regarding the asteroid's speed, distance, and other characteristics have been revealed by the space agency.

    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Feb 22 2023, 12:35 IST
    NASA on alert as 5 asteroids, including mammoth 1500-foot asteroid, heading for Earth soon
    1/5 Asteroid 1993 VB – Asteroid 1993 VB will pass Earth today, February 21, at a distance of 6.5 million kilometers. In fact, it is already rushing towards the planet, travelling at a fearsome speed of 39864 kilometers per hour. NASA has estimated Asteroid 1993 VB to be nearly 1500 feet (about half the height of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world) wide! (Pixabay)
    2/5 Asteroid 2023 DF - NASA has issued an alert against another 44 feet wide asteroid named Asteroid 2023 DF. This terrifying asteroid is expected to come extremely close to Earth today, February 21. Its distance of close approach will be just 1.6 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a staggering speed of 35137 kilometers per hour.  (Pixabay)
    3/5 Asteroid 2023 CM2 – This asteroid, with a width of 67 feet, will make its close trip to Earth tomorrow, February 22, at a distance of just 820,000 kilometers. The asteroid, known as Asteroid 2023 CM2, is already rushing towards Earth, travelling at a speed slower than other asteroids, at 40508 kilometers per hour.  (NASA)
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    4/5 Asteroid 2023 AA2 – Another asteroid named Asteroid 2023 AA2 is heading for Earth and will make a close approach tomorrow, February 22. This asteroid is gigantic, with a width between 328 feet and 721 feet and it is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 24913 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at an extremely close distance of just 6.6 million kilometers.  (NASA/JPL)
    5/5 Asteroid 2023 DE – The fifth asteroid, with a size ranging between 62 feet and 134 feet, is named Asteroid 2023 DE and will be making its closest Earth approach tomorrow, February 22. It will come as close as 3.3 million kilometers, according to NASA JPL. The asteroid is moving at a blistering speed of 60690 kilometers per hour.  (Wikimedia Commons)
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    Asteroid 2023 AA2 is a building-sized asteroid heading for Earth. (Pixabay)

    A planet-ending celestial object strikes the Earth every few million years. The asteroids that travel around the Sun in their elliptical paths also rotate, sometimes in a disorderly manner, according to NASA. Colossal asteroids have played a significant role in major historical incidents, such as the Chelyabinsk tragedy that resulted in numerous people getting injured, as well as the asteroid that caused the extinction of dinosaurs millions of years ago. In effect, whenever asteroids have collided with Earth, they have had a profound impact on life.

    Now, NASA and other space agencies have issued an alert against an asteroid which is set to make a close approach with Earth today, February 22.

    Asteroid 2023 AA2 details

    Asteroid 2023 AA2 is currently heading towards Earth and is projected to narrowly avoid colliding with the planet on February 22. NASA estimates that it will come closest to Earth at a distance of just 6.6 million kilometers and is currently travelling at a terrifying speed of 36523 kilometers per hour. The Planetary Defense Coordination Office at NASA has cautioned that Asteroid 2023 AA2 is enormous, measuring nearly 450 feet across, which is comparable to the size of a skyscraper.

    Types of asteroids

    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.

    Research on asteroids 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: 22 Feb, 09:59 IST
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