Oops: Sunday an asteroid will come close to our planet

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Oops: Sunday an asteroid will come close to our planet

If you have a good telescope, Sunday is the best time to get it out. There is a gigantic space rock passing our earth. Don’t worry: passing by, but that doesn’t make it any less special event. This only happens once every decade.

2023 DZ2

The asteroid is between 44 and 99 meters in size and is called 2023 DZ2. Fortunately, it is not on a collision course, which means that it passes us so close that you can see it with a good telescope. At least astronomers are ready for it. What time exactly? It’s going to be swooping by at 8:52 p.m. our time when the space rock comes swooping by. Well, it doesn’t matter a hair, unless you know her from 173,000 kilometers. That’s the closest location that 2023 DZ2 will approach us.

How it is calculated whether an asteroid is very dangerously close to the earth and how we call it, that has everything to do with the AU. If it is smaller than 1.3, then we speak of a near-Earth object. AU is the average distance between the Earth and the Sun. In short: if an object is less than 45 million kilometers away, it is already a near-Earth object. That puts everything in a whole different perspective, doesn’t it? Then 2023 DZ2 suddenly comes very close.

Earth shearer

It is not the case that it is 2023 DZ2 that skims past every ten years. Asteroids pass by our Earth very often, but once every ten years it is as large as this 2023 DZ2. NASA is also working on it: it is ready to see if it might get new insights about what would happen if a collision course were established with a future asteroid.

Scientifically it is therefore a very interesting ‘passer’, but no reason to be afraid. It’s actually a great teaching moment. After all, there may be an asteroid that crashes on Earth in twenty years’ time. We better be prepared, although we can imagine NASA choosing another kind of Armageddon solution to counter that colossus.

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