House-sized asteroid to pass Earth at close quarters today, get as near as 4.2 mn km, NASA says

NASA has tracked Asteroid 2023 VT3 in its orbit which will bring it close to Earth today, November 10. Know details such as its speed, size, distance of approach, and more.

| Updated on: Nov 10 2023, 10:27 IST
NASA reveals 5 asteroids to pass Earth soon; Know details
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1/5 Asteroid 2023 VD3 – Asteroid 2023 VD3, which is almost 42 feet wide, will pass Earth closely today, November 8. This asteroid is travelling in its orbit at a blistering speed of 64533 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a close distance of 491,000 kilometers. (Pixabay)
2/5 Asteroid 2023 VW – Asteroid 2023 VW is another asteroid that is set to pass Earth today, November 8. In terms of size, it is approximately 28 feet wide. As per NASA, it will pass Earth at a distance of 653,000 kilometers and is already moving at a speed of 28714 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroid 2023 VZ2 – Asteroid 2023 VZ2 is set to pass Earth today, November 8. It is nearly 47 feet wide, as per NASA. It will come as close as 2.1 million kilometers and is already moving at a speed of 40163 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2023 TD14 – The last asteroid to pass Earth today, November 8, is Asteroid 2023 TD14. The asteroid, with a width of almost 77 feet, will pass Earth at a distance of 3.5 million kilometers and a speed of 22593 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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5/5 Asteroid 2023 VC – Asteroid 2023 VC, with a width of almost 91 feet, will pass Earth tomorrow, November 9. On that day, it will come as close as 2.4 million kilometers. NASA has tracked the asteroid in its orbit, travelling at a blistering speed of 34727 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 VT3 belongs to the Aten group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

With the help of its advanced ground and space-based telescopes, NASA has tracked an asteroid whose orbit will bring it very close to Earth today. The orbits of these asteroids, which are also known as ancient space rocks, often bring them very close to Earth, and this is known as a ‘close approach'. As per the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), an asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2023 VT3, is on its way and could make its closest approach to Earth today, November 10.

Asteroid 2023 VT3: Details

This near-Earth space rock is expected to pass Earth today at a close distance of approximately 4.2 million kilometers. It is already hurtling in its orbit at a speed of about 27031 kilometers per hour, which is much faster than Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)!

How do these space rocks come close to Earth? NASA says that 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.

According to NASA, it 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.

How big is the asteroid?

In terms of size, Asteroid 2023 VT3 is nearly 60 feet wide, which makes it almost as big as a house! Despite being nearly as big as the Chelyabinsk asteroid which caused damage on Earth in 2013, this space rock isn't big enough to be classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object and is not expected to cause any damage on Earth.

These close calls with asteroids highlight the importance of continued technological development in asteroid detection and monitoring programs such as NASA's DART test. This will help to ensure the safety of our planet from the potential impact of these space rocks.

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First Published Date: 10 Nov, 10:27 IST