A 320-foot asteroid, which is about the size of a building is all set to make a close flyby today, as per NASA. Know the asteroid’s distance, speed and more.
The seemingly vast emptiness of space is actually full of humongous celestial objects, out of which only a few have been discovered so far. Asteroids are some of these objects. They are rocky, airless remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago, according to NASA. Most of them can be found orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter within the main asteroid belt, although they occasionally make close trips to Earth. NASA has issued an alert against one such asteroid which is set to make a close approach with Earth soon.
Asteroid 2023 AQ details
NASA has issued an alert about an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 AQ which is headed straight for Earth today, January 17. According to the space agency, this 320-foot wide asteroid is nearly the size of a skyscraper, and will make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 4.1 million kilometers. It is hurtling towards Earth at a staggering speed of 89857 kilometers per hour, making it one of the fastest asteroids to pass by Earth in the recent past.
NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office keeps a check on these Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) for any potential collision with Earth and declares them as Potentially Hazardous Objects if they come within around 8 million kilometers of Earth.
According to the-sky.org, the Asteroid 2023 AQ belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. It was discovered just days ago on January 13. This asteroid takes 1125 days to complete one trip around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 555 million kilometers and nearest distance is 78 million kilometers.
Types of asteroids
There are three main types of asteroids: C-type, S-type, and M-type. C-type asteroids are the most common and are made mostly of carbon-rich materials. S-type asteroids are made mostly of silicate minerals and are less common. M-type asteroids are made mostly of metal and are the least common.
Asteroids are important to study because they can provide important insight into the early years of the solar system and the formation of planets. They might also contain valuable resources, such as water and metals, which could be used in future space missions.