Massive 101-foot Asteroid 2023 HQ zooming towards Earth at a speed of 26261 kmph, NASA issues warning

A gigantic 101-foot asteroid, named 2023 HQ is all set to make its closest approach to Earth today, April 22, NASA has warned.

| Updated on: Apr 22 2023, 10:18 IST
NASA reveals 5 asteroids racing towards Earth! Know their speed, distance and more
1/5 Asteroid 2023 EY – Asteroid 2023 EY, which is 27 feet wide, will make its closest approach to Earth today, March 21. The asteroid is already rushing towards Earth at a speed of 12209 kilometers per hour and will miss the planet by approximately 2.7 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
2/5 Asteroid 2023 HX1 – Another asteroid named Asteroid 2023 HX1 is heading for Earth and will make a close approach today, March 21. This asteroid, with a relatively small size of 37 feet, is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 38126 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a close distance of 3 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroid 2023 HQ – Asteroid 2023 HQ, which is almost 58 feet wide, is heading for Earth and will make a close approach tomorrow, April 21. This asteroid is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 26261 kilometers per hour and will miss Earth at a distance of 5.9 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2023 HV1 – Asteroid 2023 HV1 will make its closest approach to Earth on April 23. According to NASA, this asteroid is between 59 feet and 131 feet wide. The asteroid will come as close as 6.6 million kilometers near Earth and is already moving at a fearsome speed of 24230 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
5/5 Asteroid 2023 HX – The fifth asteroid, with a width between 101 feet and 206 feet wide, is named Asteroid 2023 HX and will be making its closest Earth approach on April 23. It will come as close as 6.7 million kilometers, according to NASA. The asteroid is moving at a breakneck speed of 42404 kilometers per hour. (WikiMedia Commons)
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This is what NASA has revealed about this 101-foot-wide asteroid. (Pixabay)

Space is a dangerous place. It is filled with a massive number of gigantic and high-speed celestial bodies moving in random directions. And some of them pose a big threat to the Earth. Just a couple of days ago, an asteroid exploded over the skies in Europe. This is why space agencies such as NASA have doubled down on planetary defense measures. Last year, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission was conducted successfully and now, NASA has begun construction of the Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor space telescope which will scan the inner solar system in the infrared spectrum to look for any potentially dangerous asteroids. And now, NASA reveals that a mammoth 101-foot asteroid is going to visit our planet from a dangerously close distance. The risk is, if it gets trapped by the Earth's gravitational pull, there could be a huge disaster.

Massive asteroid moving towards the Earth

NASA reports on the asteroid have given us significant information on what to expect. The asteroid is named 2023 HQ and it was first spotted on April 16 of this year, as per the Small-Body database. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) website tells us that the asteroid is going to come as close as 5.8 million kilometers to the Earth. While this might seem like a huge distance to some, the Center for Near Earth Objects Studies (CNEOS) data might shock you. According to them, the asteroid is traveling at a mind-numbing speed of 26261 kilometers per hour!

However, the current NASA prediction states that the asteroid will likely make a safe passage across the planet. Yet, for precautionary reasons, the asteroid is being monitored by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) telescope. This tech marvel is a space telescope that has been tasked with monitoring all nearby space rocks in the inner circle of the solar system.

Know the NEOWISE telescope

It is very interesting to understand how this tech actually works. Ever since NASA became aware of the risk of near-Earth objects (NEO), it has dedicated itself to tracking and monitoring as many space rocks in the inner circle of the solar system as possible. Using the prowess of JPL and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope, the US space agency collects data for over 20,000 asteroids.

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First Published Date: 22 Apr, 10:17 IST
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