Asteroid today: Aten group space rock to pass Earth closely today, reveals NASA; check speed, size


Asteroid today: You may think asteroids are simply floating rocks in space but they can also present a danger to Earth. Due to close calls with asteroids, NASA, ESA, and other space agencies have developed technology to track these space rocks 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 today, January 2. Know all about the close approach by this Asteroid today.

Asteroid 2023 YR: Speed, size, distance, and more

The asteroid, designated as Asteroid 2023 YR is expected to pass Earth at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers today, according to the NASA Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). It is already travelling towards Earth in its orbit at 44002 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. 

It belongs to the Aten group of asteroids, which are Earth-crossing Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) with semi-major axes smaller than Earth’s. They are named after the asteroid 2062 Aten and the first of its kind was discovered by American astronomer Eleanor Helin at Palomar Observatory on January 7, 1976.

According to NASA, this is not the first time that Asteroid 2023 YR has come close to Earth. It first passed the planet on September 11, 1991, at a distance of approximately 14 million kilometers. After today, it will pass the planet at a distance of 59 million kilometers on September 11, 2029, at approximately 15 million kilometers.

How big is it?

Asteroid 2023 YR is almost the size of an aircraft, with a width of nearly 120 feet! However, it has not been classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object and does not pose a danger to Earth.

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