NASA alert! Asteroid 2023 HJ2 set to buzz Earth from dangerously close distance TODAY
Asteroid 2023 HJ2 is set to make a dangerously close approach to Earth at a blistering speed of 42608 km per hour, NASA warned.
NASA says that most asteroids come from the asteroid belt situated between Mars and Jupiter. These asteroids have an elliptical orbit, and their rotation is often erratic, tumbling through space. However, the gravitational force of the planets in the solar system can alter their direction and send them hurling randomly towards the inner solar system, including towards Earth. That's why NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory keeps an active eye on these upcoming asteroids. Now, NASA has issued an alert about an asteroid hurtling toward Earth and it is set to come dangerously close.
The potential threat is from an asteroid named 2023 HJ2, which measures 65 feet and is expected to come very close to Earth today on April 24, according to information provided by NASA. As per NASA's CNEOS, if any asteroid comes within 4.6 million miles or 7.5 million kilometers of Earth, the space agency red-flags it as potentially hazardous and issues an alert. Will this 38-foot-wide asteroid 2023 HJ2 pose a danger to Earth? Here is what NASA says.
Asteroid 2023 HJ2 details
As per the asteroid data tracking page by NASA, Asteroid 2023 HJ2 will fly past the Earth today at a close distance of just 531,468 miles. The distance is almost double the average distance between Earth and Moon which is about 239,000 miles. It is coming at a sizzling speed of 42608 kmph, NASA's CNEOS data revealed.
The asteroid 2023 HJ2 was detected only recently, on April 19, 2023 and it belongs to the Apollo group. Sky.org said that this asteroid makes one orbit around the Sun in 413 days. Thankfully, it has not been marked as a potentially hazardous asteroid but a constant watch on a such monster rock which is set to make a dangerously close approach is a must to avoid any mishap.
Asteroid Tracking Technology
To detect this type of danger well in time, NASA has established the NEO Observations Program, which is tasked with finding, tracking, and characterizing NEOs, and identifying those that may pose a hazard to Earth. Ground-based telescopes and NASA's NEOWISE spacecraft are currently used to locate NEOs.
Initially named as WISE (Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer) at its launch in December 2009, the space telescope's mission was to survey the sky in infrared to detect stars, asteroids, and faint galaxies. The telescope fulfilled its mission successfully by February 2011. Later in December 2013, the telescope was re-purposed as NEOWISE to study NEOs, asteroids, and comets after being taken out of hibernation.
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