NASA defines asteroids as ancient space rocks left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. While most of these space rocks are located in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, the orbits of some asteroids bring them closer to Earth. Apart from the asteroid belt, there is the Kuiper belt which has a huge number of comets and asteroids in it too. Notably, in recent years, there have been several close calls with asteroids that have passed close to our planet. If they come close enough, some of the asteroids are termed as Near-Earth Objects.
NASA has now revealed that a similar asteroid is all set to pass the planet and it will do so at a distance closer than the Moon!
NASA has warned that an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 SN1 is rapidly moving towards Earth and is expected to make its closest approach to the planet today, September 20. This space rock is already on its way towards us, travelling at a fearsome speed of 58306 kilometers per hour, which is just shy of the speed of a spacecraft!
According to NASA, Asteroid 2023 SN1 will pass Earth at an extremely close distance of just 332,000, which is even closer than the Moon! For the unaware, the distance of the Moon from Earth is 384,400 kilometers, thus making Asteroid 2023 SN1 one of the closest asteroids to pass Earth in the last few months.
It belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids which are Earth-crossing space rocks with semi-major axes larger than Earth's. They are named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.
Despite its extremely close approach, this asteroid has not been deemed as threatening due to its small size. NASA estimates it to beRead more on tech.hindustantimes.com