Warning! Just 3500 km between this asteroid and Earth on January 26, says NASA
NASA has warned of an asteroid that is approaching Earth speedily and it will come extremely close to Earth! Check out the details here, as per the space agency.
NASA defines Near-Earth Asteroids as celestial bodies that orbit the Sun and come close to the Earth's orbit. Some of these space rocks have the potential to be hazardous to our planet, as they can collide with the Earth and cause significant damage. Asteroids which pass the planet at a distance closer than 8 million kilometers are declared as Potentially Hazardous Objects. Though the distance might seem a lot, it is quite small when compared in astronomical distances. And now, a new asteroid is almost set to touch the Earth!
NASA, ESA and other space agencies keep an eye on any Potentially Hazardous Object which has the potential to impact with Earth's surface and cause damage. The agencies are on high alert as an asteroid has been observed heading to Earth tomorrow. What's particularly special about this asteroid is that it will pass at a distance of just 3500 kilometers above the planet's surface! This distance is closer than even the satellites which orbit the planet.
Details about the approaching asteroid
The asteroid has been named Asteroid 2023 BU by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies. The same organization has also revealed its trajectory, distance of close approach and expected speed. Asteroid 2023 BU will pass Earth tomorrow, January 26, at a distance of just 3500 kilometers. In fact, it is already rushing towards the planet, travelling at a fearsome speed of 33350 kilometers per hour.
If you're curious about this asteroid, you can watch athe livestream of the close flyby. Europe's Virtual Telescope Project, based in Ceccano, Italy, will livestream the event for skywatchers to enjoy.
According to a report by spaceweather.com, this 5-meter-wide asteroid will pass Earth closely on January 26 at 21:17 UTC (16:17 EST). The report said, “There's no danger of a collision, but... Newly-discovered asteroid 2023 BU will make an extremely close approach to Earth this Thursday. On Jan 26th at 21:17 UTC (16:17 EST), the 5-meter-wide space rock will be just 3500 km above South America, well within our planet's belt of geosynchronous satellites.”
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