House-sized asteroid set to buzz Earth today! Travelling at a fearsome speed of 34889 kmph
NASA has revealed that a house-sized asteroid could make its closest approach to Earth soon. Check speed, distance and more.
When the dinosaur-killing asteroid crashed on Earth on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico nearly 65 million years ago, it killed nearly half the plant species as well as any mammal bigger than a rat. Some asteroids, known as near-Earth asteroids, can come close enough to our planet, raising concerns about the potential for collision. However, NASA and other space agencies actively track these asteroids and have systems in place to detect and deflect any potential threats.
Although an asteroid would have to be at least 96 kilometers wide to be considered as a planet-killer, as per NASA, it doesn't mean we should completely ignore all the alerts issued by the space agency. NASA has now warned that an asteroid is on its way towards Earth.
Asteroid 2023 JD details
The asteroid, named Asteroid 2023 JD, will make its closest approach to Earth tomorrow, May 10, at a distance of 1.3 million kilometers. According to NASA, the space rock is already on its way towards the planet travelling at a speed of nearly 34889 kilometers per hour. NASA estimates this asteroid to be nearly 53 feet wide, making it as big as a house.
This asteroid belongs to the Aten group of asteroids, which are Earth-crossing Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) with semi-major axes smaller than Earth's. They are named after asteroid 2062 Aten.
How asteroids come close to Earth
According to NASA, the orbits of asteroids can be changed by Jupiter's massive gravity and by occasional close encounters with planets like Mars or other objects. These accidental encounters can knock asteroids out of the main belt and hurl them into space in all directions across the orbits of the other planets.
Previous asteroid impacts on Earth
Although asteroids have been safely passing near Earth these past few months, it doesn't mean a collision with Earth isn't on the cards. In fact, an asteroid was the reason behind the extinction of one of the largest species on the planet nearly 65 million years ago – dinosaurs.
According to the Alvarez hypothesis, the extinction was caused by a massive asteroid which crashed on Earth more than 65 million years ago. The asteroid terraformed the planet and is likely the reason that started the extinction of dinosaurs. Scientists have even found the impact crater of the asteroid in Chicxulub, near the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
And a few years ago, the Chelyabinsk incident happened and much before that, the Tunguska event. The largest asteroid to hit Earth was around 2 billion years ago and it left behind the Vredefort crater near Johannesburg.
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