An asteroid was discovered a few days ago, making it one of the closest approaches to Earth

An asteroid was discovered a few days ago, making it one of the closest approaches to Earth

(CNN) – A truck-sized asteroid made one of the closest approaches to Earth ever recorded.

The small near-Earth asteroid, called 2023 BU, passed over the southern tip of South America at 7:27 p.m. EDT Thursday, about 3,540 kilometers above Earth’s surface. This distance is within the orbit of the world’s satellites.

According to NASA, there was no danger of the asteroid hitting Earth.

If the space rock, which is estimated to be between 3.5 and 8.5 meters in diameter, heads toward Earth, it will turn into a fireball as it enters the atmosphere and disintegrate. The space agency stated that the debris will fall to Earth in the form of small meteorites.

A NASA graphic shows the orbital path of asteroid 2023 BU in red as it approaches Earth. Credit: NASA/JPL/Caltech

Amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov watched the asteroid on Saturday from the Margo Observatory in Naushny, Crimea. Borisov previously discovered interstellar comet 2I/Borisov in 2019.

The Minor Planet Center, which tracks the locations of minor planets, comets and space rocks, also received recent reports on the observations of asteroid 2023 BU. Once enough notes are scored, center Announce the discovery asteroid. Under the auspices of the International Astronomical Union, the organization is responsible for identifying, mapping, and orbital data for these celestial bodies.

Observatories around the world provided new observations after the discovery was announced Sunday, allowing 2023 BU’s orbit to be fine-tuned.

The Scout Impact Risk Assessment System of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies analyzed data from the Minor Planet Center and predicted that the asteroid would not impact Earth.

The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, located at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., calculates the trajectory of all near-Earth asteroids to assess their potential impact.

“The Scouts quickly ruled out the impact of 2023 BU, but despite a few observations, they were able to predict that the asteroid would come unusually close to Earth,” David Farnocchia, a navigation engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory that developed Scout, said in a statement. .. “In fact, this is one of the closest approximations of a NEO ever recorded.”

Earth’s gravity modifies the asteroids’ trajectory, but 2023 BU got so close to our planet that its orbit around the Sun changed after the encounter.

Before Thursday’s close pass, the asteroid had a circular orbit that took about 359 days to complete around the sun. After that, scientists estimate that the asteroid’s orbit will lengthen, extending that single orbit around the sun to 425 days.

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