An asteroid big enough to destroy a city will fly between Earth and the moon’s orbit this weekend.
The asteroid, known as 2023 DZ2, will pass only about 170,000 kilometers from Earth on Saturday. That’s less than the distance between the Earth and the Moon. Scientists will thus have a unique opportunity to observe this cosmic body with binoculars and small telescopes.
“There is no chance that this ‘city killer’ will hit Earth, but its approach provides a great chance for observation,” said Richard Moissl, head of planetary protection at the European Space Agency (ESA).
Astronomers estimate its size at 40 to 90 meters. Although asteroid flybys are common, according to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), it is unusual for such a large asteroid to come so close to Earth. Something like this happens about once every ten years.Read also Scientists have succeeded in raising young mice that genetically have two fathers
According to astronomers and the International Asteroid Warning Network, this close flyby is a good opportunity to practice planetary defenses in case a dangerous asteroid is headed our way, according to NASA.
The Virtual Telescope project will also broadcast the asteroid’s close approach to Earth live.
Asteroid 2023 DZ2 will approach our planet again only in 2026. Initially, there was a small probability that it could hit the Earth then, but astronomers have since ruled it out.
Source: Pravda – Veda a technika by vat.pravda.sk.
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