Earth has been witnessing a whirlwind of natural phenomena these past few months. Earthquakes, hurricanes, and solar storms have been causing havoc on the planet. But it is not just phenomena on Earth that have the potential to cause damage. NASA has also tracked several asteroids making close approaches to Earth almost every day, making it extremely important to observe and track these distant objects in the sky, for which NASA, ESA, and other space agencies have already set up institutions.
NASA has now revealed details about an asteroid that is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today. Know details.
Asteroid 2023 HT4 information
NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies has designated the asteroid as Asteroid 2023 HT4 and has revealed its details such as size, speed, distance of close approach, and more. Asteroid 2023 HT4 will pass Earth today, May 12, at a distance of 6 million kilometers. It is already rushing towards the planet, traveling at a ferocious speed of 32167 kilometers per hour.
What’s shocking about this asteroid is its enormous size. NASA estimates this space rock to be around 250 feet wide, making it as big as a building! Asteroid 2023 HT4’s last approach to Earth was in March 2015 and its next approach will be in July 2031, according to NASA.
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.
These close calls with asteroids highlight the importance of continued technological development in asteroid detection and monitoring programs, which help to ensure the safety of our planet from the potential impact of these space rocks.
Classification of asteroids
The three primary classifications of asteroids are C-type, S-type, and M-type. C-type asteroids, which are composed primarily of carbon-rich substances, are the most frequent. S-type asteroids, which are made up mainly of silicate minerals, are less common. M-type asteroids, which are primarily composed of metal, are the least prevalent.
Research on asteroids is critical since it can provide valuable information on the early stages of the solar system and planetary development. Furthermore, these celestial bodies might contain useful resources such as metals and water, which may be utilized in forthcoming space missions.
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