Apollo group asteroid to buzz Earth, says NASA; Check speed, size, and other details

NASA, ESA, and other space agencies have developed technology to track asteroids in their orbits, and even deflect them in case a potential impact scenario develops. While most of them are present in the main asteroid belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, they often pass Earth. Interaction with a planet’s gravitational field can sometimes knock asteroids off course, sending them tumbling towards a planet for impact. Therefore, it is crucial that asteroids be tracked to minimize the uncertainties around their close approaches. Using its tech, NASA has now shed light on an asteroid that is expected to pass Earth today, January 10. Know all about this close approach.

Asteroid 2023 XT14: Speed, size, distance, and more

The asteroid, designated as Asteroid 2023 XT14 is expected to pass Earth at a distance of approximately 4.6 million kilometers today, according to the NASA Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). It is already travelling towards Earth in its orbit at 22943 kilometers per hour which is almost as fast as Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)! 

This space rock belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, which are Earth-crossing space rocks with semi-major axes larger than Earth’s. These asteroids are named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s, according to NASA.

In terms of size, Asteroid 2023 XT14 is almost 85 feet wide, making it almost as big as an aircraft!

This is the first time that Asteroid 2023 XT14 has come close to Earth, NASA has revealed. After today, it will pass the planet at a distance of 21 million kilometers on December 24, 2119. Due to close calls with asteroids, NASA, ESA, and other space agencies have developed technology to track these space rocks in their orbits, and even deflect them in case a potential impact scenario develops. 

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