Skyscraper-sized asteroid hurtling towards Earth at fearsome speed, reveals NASA

NASA expects a mammoth 480-foot asteroid to make a close approach to Earth today. Know its speed, distance and more.

| Updated on: Apr 06 2023, 09:50 IST
150-foot asteroid among 5 set to buzz Earth, NASA warns
1/5 Asteroid 2023 FU6: Today, this small 45-foot asteroid is set to make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of just 1.16 million miles. Asteroid 2023 FU6 is already hurtling towards the planet at a speed of 36677 kmph.   (Pixabay)
2/5 Asteroid 2023 FS11: This 82-foot asteroid will fly past Earth by a close margin of 4.11 million miles today. This airplane-sized asteroid is travelling towards the planet at a speed of 42257 kilometers per hour.  (Pixabay)
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3/5 Asteroid 2023 FA7: Another airplane-sized asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of 1.4 million miles on April 4. Asteroid 2023 FA7 is 92-foot space rock which is hurtling toward Earth at a blistering 86428 kmph.  (Freepik)
4/5 Asteroid 2023 FQ7: This 65-foot asteroid, as big as a house, will be making its closest approach to Earth on April 5. It will come as close as 3.57 million miles, according to NASA's JPL. The asteroid is moving at a blistering speed of 30279 kilometers per hour toward Earth. (Wikimedia Commons)
5/5 Asteroid 2023 FZ3: One of the largest ones amongst the next upcoming asteroids is this 150-foot wide monster rock that is set to make an uncomfortably close approach towards Earth on April 6, speeding at a fiery 67656 kmph. It will be just 2.61 million miles away from the Earth.  (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 FM belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Wikimedia Commons)

Space is home to numerous gigantic celestial objects, many of which are yet to be identified. Among these objects are asteroids, which are remnants of the early stages of our solar system's formation approximately 4.6 billion years ago, according to NASA. These rocky, airless bodies can be found mostly in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, but their orbits can also bring them closer to Earth on occasions. They travel across the solar system and sometimes come close to or crash into other planets, including Erath.

NASA has issued an alert against an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 FM which is on its way towards the planet and is expected to make its closest approach today.

Asteroid 2023 FM details

NASA has issued an alert about an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 FM which is headed straight for Earth today, April 6. According to the space agency, this asteroid will make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 3 million kilometers. It is hurtling towards Earth at a staggering speed of 56847 kilometers per hour.

What's concerning about this asteroid is its mammoth size. With a width of 480 feet, it is nearly as big as a skyscraper!

Although this asteroid is not expected to collide with Earth, a slight deviation in its trajectory due to the Earth's gravitational pull can send the asteroid hurtling towards Earth for an impact. Though you should not be worried as NASA has already tested the plan to engage in planetary defense to protect the planet against rogue asteroids through its DART Mission.

How NASA studies and tracks asteroids: Tech explained

Surveys done by NASA-supported ground-based telescopes – including Pans-STARRS1 in Maui, Hawaii, as well as the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona – have identified thousands of near-Earth objects. And a space-based telescope called NEOWISE has identified hundreds of others while scanning the skies at near-infrared wavelengths of light from its polar orbit around Earth. NASA uses its ground-based radar to gather precise data about the asteroid's path and its characteristics.

NASA also has a new impact monitoring system in place which uses an algorithm called Sentry-II to calculate the impact risk of Near-Earth Objects. The space agency has a NEO Surveyor mission planned for launch in 2026 to gain even greater in-depth data using a new orbiter.

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First Published Date: 06 Apr, 09:40 IST
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