Only 3600 kilometers away
Asteroid comes very close to the earth
An asteroid passes exceptionally close to Earth on Friday night. It’s the size of a delivery truck.
Published: 12:34 p.m
Updated: 4:24 p.m
This NASA visualization shows the calculated trajectory of asteroid 2023 BU (red) and how it is influenced by Earth and satellites (green).
The celestial body called 2023 BU reached the closest point to the earth on Friday at 1:27 a.m. Swiss time, according to the US space agency Nasa. Then the asteroid, about the size of a delivery truck, rushes past the southern tip of South America at an altitude of just 3,600 kilometers.
According to NASA, there is no risk of an impact. For comparison: Geostationary satellites are around 35,000 kilometers from Earth, the ISS space station around 400 kilometers.
Asteroid would burn up
Even if 2023 BU was heading straight for Earth, with its comparatively small diameter of 3.5 to 8.5 meters it would largely burn up as a fireball when it entered the atmosphere, according to NASA. In all likelihood, however, it will be one of the closest approaches to Earth that has ever been recorded, the statement said.
The amateur astronomer Gennady Borissow discovered the celestial body at the Margo Observatory in Crimea a few days ago. Borissov made a name for himself in 2019 when he used a homemade telescope to discover a comet crossing our solar system on its journey from deep space. Comet 2I/Borisov attracted worldwide interest among astronomers at the time, who confirmed its observations.
International observatories also immediately targeted Borissov’s latest discovery in order to determine the orbit of 2023 BU and thus possible risks for the Earth. A threat from the asteroid could then be quickly ruled out, as Nasa scientist Davide Farnocchia explained.
Researchers have identified around 27,000 asteroids near Earth, around 10,000 of them with a diameter of more than 140 meters. None are known to be able to crash directly into our planet in the foreseeable future.
Researchers simulate impact: This is what happens when an asteroid hits the earth(01:22)
Last October, NASA succeeded for the first time in changing the direction of movement of an asteroid through the impact of a probe. The background to the experiment is the question of how the earth could be protected from approaching celestial bodies. An asteroid impact around 66 million years ago is the leading theory among scientists as to why the dinosaurs became extinct. (SDA)
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