Scary asteroid close call today! NASA reveals Asteroid 2023 EV2 approaching Earth

NASA has warned that a speedy asteroid is expected to fly past the planet by a very close margin today.

| Updated on: Mar 20 2023, 06:58 IST
Alert! 5 asteroids, including a 450-foot monster rock, racing towards Earth
1/5 Asteroid 2023 EY – Asteroid 2023 EY, which is 52 feet wide, will make its closest approach to Earth today, March 17. The asteroid is already rushing towards Earth at a speed of 29246 kilometers per hour and will miss the planet by an extremely close distance of just 239,539 kilometers, which is even closer than the Moon! (Pixabay)
2/5 Asteroid 2018 UQ1 – Another asteroid named Asteroid 2018 UQ1 is heading for Earth and will make a close approach today, March 17. This 450-foot wide asteroid is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 42037 kilometers per hour. It will pass by Earth at an extremely close distance of 4.1 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroid 2023 ES1 - Asteroid 2023 ES1, which is 30 feet wide, will make a close approach today, March 17. This asteroid is heading for Earth at a speed of 28839 kilometers per hour. It will pass by Earth at a distance of just 1.9 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2023 EZ - Asteroid 2023 EZ will make its closest approach to Earth tomorrow, March 18. This 64-foot wide asteroid will come as close as 6.2 million kilometers to Earth, reveals NASA. It is moving at a speed of 23771 kilometers per hour. (NASA)
5/5 Asteroid 2016 WH - Asteroid 2016 WH, the 5th asteroid, with a width of approximately 44 feet, will be making its closest Earth approach on March 19. It will come as close as 6.9 million kilometers, according to NASA. The asteroid is moving at a fearsome speed of 42380 kilometers per hour. (Wikimedia Commons)
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Know more about this asteroid which is set to fly past Earth. (Pixabay)

Though most asteroids are found in a ring between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter, called the asteroid belt, that doesn't mean they've never come close to Earth. In fact, some space rocks have made their way towards Earth in the past and impacted the surface. Just yesterday, a 44 feet wide asteroid had a very close call with the planet. NASA has an eye on another asteroid which is set to make a close approach with the planet today.

Asteroid 2023 EV2 details

The asteroid, named Asteroid 2023 EV2 will fly past Earth today, March 20. This space rock will make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of just 1.7 million kilometers, according to NASA. The 64 feet wide asteroid will pass Earth at a staggering speed of 47605 kilometers per hour.

More details

According to NASA, the Asteroid 2023 EV2 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids which are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s. It was discovered just days ago on March 14 and takes 1023 days to complete one orbit around the Sun. During this trip, its maximum distance from the Sun is 459 million kilometers and its nearest distance is 136 million kilometers.

Although this asteroid is expected to pass Earth by a close distance, it still has not been classified as a “Potentially Hazardous Object” due to its relatively small size.

What is NASA doing to find potentially hazardous asteroids?

NASA has established a Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), managed in the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The PDCO ensures the early detection of potentially hazardous objects (PHOs) - asteroids and comets whose orbits are predicted to bring them within 0.05 Astronomical Units of Earth (5 million miles or 8 million kilometers) and of a size large enough to reach Earth's surface - that is, greater than approximately 30 to 50 meters.

NASA tracks and characterizes these objects and issues warnings about potential impacts, providing timely and accurate information.

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First Published Date: 20 Mar, 06:58 IST