NASA says aircraft-sized asteroid will pass Earth closely today; Check speed, size and more | Tech News

NASA says aircraft-sized asteroid will pass Earth closely today; Check speed, size and more

An Apollo group, aircraft-sized asteroid has been tracked in its orbit approaching Earth, and it will pass by the planet today, February 15. Know its speed, size, distance of approach, and other details, as per the space agency.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Feb 15 2024, 10:13 IST
asteroids
Asteroid 2024 CE1 belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, according to NASA. (Pixabay)
asteroids
Asteroid 2024 CE1 belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, according to NASA. (Pixabay)

NASA has tracked an asteroid in its orbit that will pass Earth by a very close margin today, February 15. It was discovered using advanced space telescopes and ground-based observatories in place such as the NEOWISE telescope, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), Pans-STARRS1, Catalina Sky Survey, the Hubble Space Telescope and the new $1 billion James Webb Space Telescope. Check out the details about this close encounter.

Asteroid 2024 CE1: Details

NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has designated this asteroid as Asteroid 2024 CE1. This space rock is travelling towards Earth in its orbit at a breathtaking speed of 32965 kilometers per hour, which is much faster than Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)! 

It is just one of the 3 asteroids that have been predicted to pass by the planet today. Other asteroids passing by Earth include Asteroid 2024 CN3 and Asteroid 2024 CN4. NASA expects Asteroid 2024 CE1 to fly past Earth at a close margin of approximately 4.2 million kilometers.

How big is it?

This asteroid is about 88 feet wide, making it almost as big as an aircraft! However, it is not big enough to pose any danger to Earth and has not been termed as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid. Only celestial objects larger than 492 feet that pass Earth at a distance closer than 7.5 million kilometers are designated so.

Asteroid 2024 CE1 belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, which are Earth-crossing space rocks with semi-major axes larger than Earth's. These asteroids are named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.

NASA has also revealed that Asteroid 2024 CE1 has not passed Earth before and this is its first-ever close approach to the planet. After today, it is not expected to come close again in the near future.

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First Published Date: 15 Feb, 10:09 IST
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