Potentially Hazardous Asteroid to pass Earth by a close margin! NASA reveals details
NASA has revealed details of an upcoming close encounter with an asteroid that is nearly 500 feet wide! Know its speed, distance of approach, and more, as per the US Space Agency.
Asteroids can be found in the main asteroid belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. While these space rocks have their own orbits, they can get knocked off their course due to interaction with a planet's gravitational field. This sends them tumbling towards a planet, causing a potential impact scenario. Due to such close calls, NASA, ESA, and other space agencies have developed technology to track asteroids in their orbits, and even deflect them in case a potential impact scenario develops. Using its tech, NASA has now shed light on an asteroid that is expected to pass Earth tomorrow, December 23. Know all about this close call.
Asteroid 2023 VD6: Speed, size, distance, and more
As per the details issued by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the asteroid has been designated as Asteroid 2023 VD6. This asteroid is expected to pass Earth at a distance of approximately 4 million kilometers tomorrow. It is already travelling towards Earth in its orbit at 55680 kilometers per hour which is even faster than Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)!
This space rock 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.
According to NASA, this is not the first time that Asteroid 2023 VD6 has come close to Earth. It first passed the planet on December 5, 1900, at a distance of approximately 23 million kilometers. After today, it will pass the planet at a distance of 9.7 million kilometers on May 2, 2039.
How big is it?
Asteroid 2023 VD6 is almost the size of a building, with a width of nearly 500 feet. Therefore, it has been classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object by NASA and is deemed potentially threatening.