Colossal 200-foot asteroid darting towards Earth; Clocked at a fearsome 26446 kmph

NASA has been monitoring an asteroid that is nearly as big as an aircraft and is set to pass Earth closely today.

| Updated on: Mar 15 2023, 10:20 IST
From 721-foot monster to 22-foot dwarf, 5 asteroids to come very close to Earth
1/5 Asteroid 2022 YS5 - NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has warned that the asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 YS5, will make its closest approach to Earth today, January 13, at a distance of 5.9 million kilometers. It is nearly as big as an aircraft, with a width of 130 feet. Asteroid 2022 YS5 is already hurtling towards the planet at a speed of 21506 kmph.  (Wikimedia Commons)
2/5 Asteroid 2014 LJ - A relatively small asteroid with a size of 22 feet will fly past Earth by a very close margin tomorrow, January 14. The asteroid, named Asteroid 2014 LJ, will make its closest approach with the planet at a distance of 1.8 million kilometers. The asteroid is travelling towards the planet at a blistering speed of 12515 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroid 2022 YH3 – Another asteroid named 2022 YH3 will make its closest approach to Earth tomorrow, January 14 at a distance of 7.2 million kilometers. The asteroid, with a width of 290, is travelling at a staggering speed of 58580 kilometers per hour towards the planet. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2012 BV13 - NASA has issued an alert against another asteroid named Asteroid 2012 BV13. This asteroid is particularly concerning due to its monstrous size. According to NASA, it has a size ranging anywhere between 327 feet and 721 feet, making it nearly as big as a football field! It is expected to fly past Earth closely on January 16 at a distance of 1.5 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a speedy 24042 kilometers per hour.  (WikiMedia Commons)
5/5 Asteroid 2020 BP - NASA has warned that an asteroid named Asteroid 2020 BP is heading for Earth and is expected to pass by the planet closely on January 20. Asteroid 2020 BP is already on its way towards us travelling at a fearsome speed of 60966 kilometers per hour. The asteroid, with a width between 62 feet and 141 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth a distance of just 1.9 million kilometers.  (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 DM belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

Most asteroids are in the asteroid belt, which is located between Mars and Jupiter in the solar system. However, some asteroids have trajectories that cause them to come closer to Earth. Space agencies such as NASA monitor these asteroids that pass close to Earth to reduce any uncertainty as they can prove to be hazardous. Over the last few years, there have been a number of instances where asteroids have come very close to our planet, posing a potential threat. Small ones crash on Earth on a regular basis. As per ESA, 1-metre wide asteroids crash on Earth every 2 weeks or so. Bigger ones, like the asteroid that exploded over Russia's Chelyabinsk, caused destruction worth millions and injured more than 1400 people.

However, due to the early detection and monitoring of these asteroids owing to advancement in tech, scientists have been able to determine whether these asteroids pose any danger to Earth weeks before they even come close to Earth. NASA has now revealed that a similar asteroid is all set to pass the planet at fearsome speed today.

Information about Asteroid 2023 DM

NASA has warned that an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 DM is charging towards Earth and is expected to pass by the planet closely today March 15. In fact, this space rock is already on its way towards us travelling at a staggering speed of 26446 kilometers per hour. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of just 3.2 million kilometers or 0.02177 astronomical units.

An astronomical unit (AU, or au) is basically a unit of length equal to the average, or mean, distance between Earth and the Sun, that is, 149,597,870.7 kilometers. Although this distance may seem a lot, it is relatively a small number in astronomical distances, considering how big the asteroid is.

Danger caused by the asteroid

Asteroid 2023 DM is particularly concerning due to its sheer size. With a width of nearly 200 feet, this space rock is the size of an aircraft! Impact of an asteroid this size would cause regional destruction but would not be able to end life on Earth. However, it could still cause significant destruction to life and property if it crashed in densely populated areas.

These close calls with asteroids highlight the importance of continued technological development in asteroid detection and monitoring programs, which help to ensure the safety of our planet from the potential impact of these space rocks.

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First Published Date: 15 Mar, 10:19 IST