NASA's NEOWISE spacecraft detects 130-foot asteroid rushing towards Earth

A 130-foot asteroid is on its way to make a close approach to Earth, reveals NEOWISE. Here’s what NASA said.

| Updated on: Jul 01 2023, 12:57 IST
NASA has warned about the giant Asteroid 2023 MB6 that is travelling at a fiery speed of 39391 km per hour towards Earth. (Pixabay)
NASA has warned about the giant Asteroid 2023 MB6 that is travelling at a fiery speed of 39391 km per hour towards Earth. (Pixabay)

A wide array of NASA's technological instruments such as telescopes, ground-based observatories and satellites are contsntly deployed for the potential threat of upcoming asteroids. NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) monitors all near-Earth objects (NEOs), while NEOWISE spacecraft locate potential threats. Notably, NASA's WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) spacecraft was an infrared-wavelength astronomical space telescope, but it was repurposed in 2013 and it got a new mission and was renamed as NEOWISE. The new misison was to help find near-Earth asteroids and comets.

NEOWISE has now detected a giant asteroid named 2023 MB6, which is rushing towards Earth and is anticipated to pass in close proximity. This asteroid is scheduled to approach Earth today, July 1, NASA's CNEOS data revealed. Is it a potential threat to Earth?

Asteroid 2023 MB6 details

As per NASA's asteroid data tracking page, Asteroid 2023 MB6 is set to make a close approach to Earth today, July 1, at a distance of merely 3.3 million miles, while hurtling through space at a rapid speed of 39391 kilometres per hour. This asteroid, classified under the Apollo group, was discovered quite recently on June 18, 2023. reveals that it completes a full orbit around the Sun approximately in 465 days.

Thankfully, this asteroid is not a potential threat but a close watch on this swiftly moving space rock is vital to avoid any mishap. But do asteroids really hit the planets? NASA explains.

Asteroid danger to planets

Celestial bodies in space, such as planets and moons, are occasionally subjected to collisions with asteroids, which can have devastating consequences. You must have heard about this notable instance, which occurred 65 million years ago, resulting in the extinction of dinosaurs on Earth. Various theories say that the impact of an asteroid released an enormous amount of energy, leading to widespread environmental changes that ultimately caused the end of the dinosaur era and numerous other species too. To mitigate the risk of such catastrophic events, continuous surveillance of potential asteroid threats is maintained by NASA and other space agencies.

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First Published Date: 01 Jul, 12:57 IST