House-sized asteroid to make a close approach today! NASA reveals details

An Aten group asteroid is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today, August 29. Check details such as its speed, distance, and more.

| Updated on: Aug 29 2023, 11:51 IST
Wave of asteroids to pass by Earth soon! NASA reveals details of 5 space rocks
1/5 Asteroid PM - Asteroid PM, is currently heading towards Earth and will pass close by Earth today, August 22. The asteroid is nearly the size of an aircraft with a width of 180 feet. It is travelling at almost 25083 kilometers per hour and will make its closest approach at 3.6 million kilometers. (NASA/JPL)
2/5 Asteroid 2023 QU1 – Yet another asteroid named Asteroid 2023 QU1 will make its closest approach to Earth today, August 22. In terms of size, it is almost 66 feet wide. As per NASA, it will come as close as 6.2 million kilometers and is already moving at a speed of 20637 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
3/5 2023 QZ – 2023 QZ, which is nearly 47 feet wide, is heading for Earth and will make its closest approach today, August 22. It is moving at a blistering speed of 16211 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a close distance of 5.1 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2023 QW – Asteroid 2023 QW will make an extremely close approach to the planet on August 23. The asteroid, with a width of around 71 feet, will approach at a distance of just 1.6 million kilometers and a speed of nearly 58848 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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5/5 Asteroid 2023 QO – Asteroid 2023 QO, with a width of just 46 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth on August 23. The space rock is already rushing towards Earth at a speed of 38661 kilometers per hour and will miss the planet by a distance of 2.4 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 QD2 belongs to the Aten group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

Most asteroids are made up of carbon-rich substances, silicate materials or metals. But did you know about one space rock that is made of Earth's rarest metals? The asteroid, known as 16 Psyche, is made up of gold, nickel, and iron deposits. According to NASA, it could be worth more than the world's economy put together! Other than its gold-rich structure, the outer surface of this asteroid is nickel-rich which resembles an early planet's core. It is worth nearly $10 quadrillion, and this is why NASA has planned a mission to this asteroid to study its composition.

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.

Asteroid 2023 QD2

At present, 1298148 asteroids have been discovered to date, and Asteroid 2023 QD2 is one of them. NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has designated this space rock as Asteroid 2023 QD2, and it will make its closest approach to Earth today, August 29. During its approach, it will come as close as just 1.2 million kilometers from the planet's surface. 

NASA, with the help of its various space and ground-based telescopes, has revealed that it is hurtling towards Earth at a staggering speed of 27970 kilometers per hour, which is nearly as fast as a space shuttle!

Other details

According to NASA, this asteroid is not big enough to be classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object. A celestial body has to be around 492 feet wide and pass Earth at a distance closer than 7.5 million kilometers to be considered a Potentially Hazardous Object. On the other hand, Asteroid 2023 QD2 is almost as big as a house, with a width of just 46 feet.

Asteroid 2023 QD2 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 the asteroid 2062 Aten and the first of its kind was discovered by American astronomer Eleanor Helin at Palomar Observatory on January 7, 1976. These asteroids have an orbital period of less than one year and spend most of their time hidden by the Sun.

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First Published Date: 29 Aug, 11:29 IST