On February 14, which is widely celebrated as Valentine’s Day, a huge asteroid will come very close to Earth. US space agency, NASA, which keeps an eye on the asteroids coming close to the Earth, confirmed that a giant asteroid will be making a very close approach to Earth. This huge space rock named Asteroid 2023 CP will rocket past Earth at a distance of just 4.09 million miles, NASA has calculated the approximate size of the asteroid at around 110 feet, almost as big as an airplane. Though this may seem quite far away, the distance is not that much in terms of the vastness of space, hence NASA has flagged it as a ‘close approach’.
Danger of asteroid on Valentine’s Day
The near-Earth asteroid 2023 CP was discovered on February 08, 2023, and belongs to the Amor group. With an orbital period of 624 days, it makes one complete orbit around the Sun. The asteroid’s aphelion, which is its farthest point from the Sun, lies at a distance of 275 million kilometers, while its perihelion, the closest point to the Sun, is 153 million kilometers away.
The closest approach will happen in the late hours of February 14, around 23:15, sky.org reported. This Valentine’s Day asteroid would be traveling at a speed of about 12341 km per hour toward the Earth, NASA’s CNEOS agency confirmed. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) designates all space rocks that come within 4.6 million miles of Earth and are larger than approximately 150 meters as potentially hazardous objects. The close proximity to Earth is what makes this 110-foot asteroid a potential threat.
How NASA keeps a track of asteroids
NASA tracks asteroids using a combination of ground-based and space-based telescopes. The NASA-funded Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS), scans the night sky for moving objects and reports any potential asteroid detections, while some space-based observatories use infrared sensors to detect asteroids and their characteristics. Some of these include the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and the NEOWISE mission.
Original Source link
Author of this Amazing Article – HT Tech