This asteroid got horrifyingly close to Earth, just 4000km, NASA says

An asteroid flew past Earth at a horrifyingly close distance of just 4000 kilometers! And yet another one is on its way for a close approach today. Know its speed, size, and other details, as per NASA.

| Updated on: Sep 08 2023, 10:28 IST
24-foot wide Asteroid 2023 RL will come very close to Earth! Check speed, distance, more
1/5 As per NASA, the space rock designated as Asteroid 2023 RL is swiftly moving in the direction of Earth. The data suggests that it is going to make a very close approach on September 9.  (NASA JPL)
2/5 According to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), Asteroid 2023 RL  is on a trajectory towards the Earth at a rapid speed of 19021 kilometres per hour and is scheduled to make its nearest approach on September 9.  (Pixabay)
3/5 According to NASA's asteroid data, Asteroid 2023 RL is expected to come within just 755,000 kilometres of our planet. That is terrifyingly close - the asteroid will be just a little further away from the Earth than the Moon! The Moon is 384,400 km from Earth.   (Pixabay)
4/5 This 24-foot wide asteroid can be compared to the size of a small bus. The Asteroid 2023 RL belongs to the Aten group of near-earth objects.  (Pixabay)
5/5 NASA reports that the asteroid is not classified as a potentially hazardous object. An asteroid is considered dangerous when it passes Earth at a distance of less than 7.5 million kilometres from Earth and is at least 492 feet wide. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2023 QC5 belongs to the Amor group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office is the organization responsible for monitoring the skies and keeping a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). The organization has issued a warning against an asteroid designated as Asteroid 2023 QC5 which is set to make its closest approach to Earth in years. This Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today, September 8. Although this asteroid will come very close to the planet, it is not expected to impact the surface and cause damage.

Asteroid 2023 QC5: Details of close approach

According to NASA, Asteroid 2023 QC5 will pass by Earth at a distance of about 4 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards the planet, travelling at a staggering speed of 27315 kilometers per hour. According to NASA, Asteroid 2023 QC5 is almost 82 feet wide, making it almost as big as an aircraft!

Although it isn't nearly as big to cause the extinction of species, the asteroid could still potentially cause some degree of damage, especially if it crashes in a densely populated area. It is bigger in size than the 59-foot-wide Chelyabinsk asteroid that exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk in Russia which damaged 7000 buildings and injured 1400 people.

NASA has also revealed that this space rock belongs to the Amor group of Near-Earth Asteroids which are Earth-approaching near-Earth asteroids with orbits exterior to Earth but interior to Mars', named after asteroid 1221 Amor, which was discovered by Belgian astronomer E. Delporte in 1932.

Close asteroid flyby

On the morning of September 7, scientists discovered an asteroid that flew closer to Earth than most other space rocks! The asteroid, designated C9FMVU2, was discovered just a few hours prior to its close approach. As per the details, it passed Earth at a distance of just 4000 kilometers, which is just 1/100 the distance between the Moon and Earth!

Fortunately, this asteroid was minuscule in size, with a width of just 6.5 feet, making it as big as a car. ESA revealed that even if this asteroid had entered the Earth's atmosphere, it would have turned into a fireball and streaked across the sky, breaking up into tiny pieces.

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First Published Date: 08 Sep, 10:17 IST
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