Voice News

Large asteroid to zoom between earth and moon

PARIS: According to the European Space Agency, a large asteroid will safely zoom between Earth and the Moon on Saturday, a once-in-a-decade event that will be used as a training exercise for planetary defense efforts.

The asteroid, 2023 DZ2, is estimated to be 40 to 70 meters (130 to 230 feet) wide, roughly the size of the Parthenon, and large enough to destroy a major city if it collides with Earth.

At 19:49 GMT on Saturday, it will be one-third of the way from Earth to the Moon, according to Richard Moissl, head of the ESA’s planetary defense office.

Despite the fact that it is “very close,” there is nothing to worry about, he told AFP.

Small asteroids pass by every day, but one of this size passing so close to Earth only happens once every ten years, according to him.

At a speed of 28,000 kilometers per hour, the asteroid will pass 175,000 kilometers (109,000 miles) from Earth (17,400 miles per hour). The moon is approximately 385,000 kilometers away.

On February 27, an observatory in La Palma, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, discovered the asteroid.

Last week, the UN-backed International Asteroid Warning Network decided to take advantage of the close look by performing a “rapid characterization” of 2023 DZ2, according to Moissl.

As a result, astronomers all over the world will use a variety of instruments to study the asteroid, including spectrometers and radars.

Moissl explained that the goal is to see how much we can learn about an asteroid in a week.

It will also serve as practice for how the network “would react to a threat” that may come our way in the future, he added.

The asteroid will pass Earth again in 2026 but will pose no threat of impact for at least the next 100 years, according to its calculated trajectory.

A similar-sized asteroid, 2023 DW, was given a one-in-432 chance of hitting Earth on Valentine’s Day 2046 earlier this month.

However, further calculations ruled out the possibility of an impact, which is usually the case with newly discovered asteroids. According to Moissl, DW will now miss Earth by 4.3 million kilometers in 2023.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *