Mammoth 1500-foot asteroid dashing towards Earth; Close approach today!

Asteroid 1993 VB has been predicted to pass Earth at a relatively close distance today. NASA estimates it to be mammoth in size.

| Updated on: Feb 21 2023, 09:55 IST
Scary times! 28-foot to 130-foot, these asteroids set to skim past Earth today, says NASA
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1/5 Asteroid 2023 CS2: NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has warned that Asteroid 2023 CS2 will make its closest approach to Earth today, February 18, at a distance of merely 1.02 million kilometers. The 28-foot asteroid is nearly as big as a bus. Asteroid 2023 BK4 is already hurtling towards the planet at a speed of 27471 kmph.   (NASA/JPL)
2/5 Asteroid 2023 CW: This 80-foot asteroid will fly past Earth by a very close margin today. The asteroid will make its closest approach to the planet at a worrying distance of only 1.58 million miles. The asteroid is travelling towards the planet at a speed of 27408 kilometers per hour.  (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroid 2023 CH1 and 2023 CE2: These two asteroids will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of 1.8 million miles and 3.25 million miles. Asteroid 2023 CH1 is 51 feet wide and asteroid 2023 CE 2 is 89 feet wide.  (Pixabay)
NASA asteroid
4/5 Asteroid 2023 CC1: Last, but not the least, this 130-foot asteroid, as big as an airplane, will be making its closest approach to Earth today too. It will come as close as 3.58 million miles, according to NASA's JPL. The asteroid is moving at a blistering speed of 43790 kilometers per hour towards Earth.  (Bloomberg)
5/5 All of these asteroids are said to be potentially hazardous because of their close approach to Earth. NASA's JPL has classified all space rocks that come within 4.6 million miles of Earth and have a size greater than approximately 150 meters as "potentially hazardous objects. (Pixabay)
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NASA estimates 1993 VB to be nearly 1500 feet wide (Pixabay)

NASA's definition of Near-Earth Asteroids refers to celestial bodies that orbit the Sun and approach the Earth's orbit. These asteroids can pose a danger to our planet if they collide with it, resulting in significant damage. A Potentially Hazardous Object is an asteroid that passes closer to the Earth than 8 million kilometers. This may sound like a considerable distance, but it is relatively small in astronomical terms. To prevent potential impact and damage, NASA, ESA, and other space agencies closely monitor any Potentially Hazardous Objects.

Currently, these agencies are on high alert as an asteroid is projected to approach Earth as soon as today, and it is mammoth!

Asteroid 1993 VB information

The asteroid has been named Asteroid 1993 VB by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies. The same organization has also revealed its trajectory, distance of close approach and expected speed. Asteroid 1993 VB will pass Earth today, February 21, at a distance of 6.5 million kilometers. In fact, it is already rushing towards the planet, travelling at a fearsome speed of 39864 kilometers per hour.

What's shocking about the asteroid is its mammoth size. NASA has estimated Asteroid 1993 VB to be nearly 1500 feet wide (about half the height of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world)! That is as big as a bridge!

Did you know?

Astronomers have spotted three near-Earth asteroids (NEA) hiding in the glare of the Sun. One of the asteroids is the largest object that is potentially hazardous to Earth to be discovered in the last eight years. A team using the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) mounted on the Victor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope in Chile, a Program of NSF's NOIRLab, discovered these asteroids.

This is a notoriously challenging region for observations because asteroid hunters must contend with the glare of the Sun. By taking advantage of the brief yet favorable observing conditions during twilight, however, the astronomers found this elusive trio.

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First Published Date: 21 Feb, 09:55 IST
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