House-sized asteroid set for a close encounter with Earth; Know details
Asteroid 2023 SF6 will make an extremely close approach to Earth today, September 27. Know why it is important to monitor celestial objects like asteroids.
Asteroids are huge space rocks that revolve around in their orbits in space. According to NASA, some of these ancient space rocks present a potential threat of collision with Earth while others can help discover secrets of space. While most of them are located in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, these rocks often make close approaches to Earth as their orbits bring them within a couple of million kilometers of our planet. This presents a threat - could these space rocks somehow make their way to Earth? History has taught us that it certainly is possible. This can happen if an asteroid gets knocked off course, affected by a large planet's gravitational pull. Their orbits can also bring them extremely close to Earth.
In a new development, NASA has shed light on the details of an asteroid that is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today. Know its speed, size, distance of approach, and more.
Asteroid 2023 SF6
NASA keeps an eye on asteroids, comets, and other Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) for potential close approaches that could threaten Earth. The space agency has issued a warning against an asteroid that will come extremely close to Earth today, September 27. As per the details, the asteroid with the designation Asteroid 2023 SF6, will pass Earth at a distance of just 1.4 million kilometres. While this asteroid is not a planet killer, it is still bigger than the Chelyabinsk asteroid which caused massive damage in 2013. It has an estimated width of about 62 feet, making it almost as big as a house.
Not only will the asteroid pass Earth closely, but it is also hurtling towards us at a breakneck speed. NASA has revealed that Asteroid 2023 SF6 is approaching Earth at 62548 kilometers per hour!
The space agency has also revealed that it 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.
Shockingly, this will be Asteroid 2023 SF6's first-ever close approach to Earth in history. As per NASA's Small-Body Database Lookup, it will not make any further close approach in the near future.
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