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An asteroid discovered just a few days ago makes one of the closest approaches to Earth


This Thursday, a newly discovered asteroid, 2023 BU, made one of the closest approaches to Earth ever recorded.

2 of the most dangerous asteroids for Earth will pass close to the planet in 2023 1:47

(CNN) --

An asteroid the size of a truck made one of the closest approaches to Earth ever recorded.

The small near-Earth asteroid, named 2023 BU, flew over the southern tip of South America at 7:27 p.m. ET on Thursday, about 3,540 kilometers above the Earth's surface.

This distance is within the orbit of world satellites.

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

If the space rock, which is estimated to be between 3.5 and 8.5 meters in diameter, had headed towards Earth, it would turn into a fireball upon entering the atmosphere and disintegrate.

The debris would fall to the ground in the form of small meteorites, according to the space agency.

A NASA graphic shows the orbital path of asteroid 2023 BU in red as it approaches Earth.

Credit: NASA/JPL/Caltech

Amateur astronomer Gennadiy Borisov sighted the asteroid on Saturday from the MARGO observatory in Nauchnyi, Crimea.

Borisov previously discovered the interstellar comet 2I/Borisov in 2019.

The Minor Planet Center, which tracks the positions of minor planets, comets and space rocks, also received recent reports of observations of asteroid 2023 BU.

Once enough observations were recorded, the center announced the discovery of the asteroid.

Under the auspices of the International Astronomical Union, the organization is responsible for the identification, designation, and orbital data of such celestial objects.


Observatories around the world made new observations after the discovery announcement on Sunday, allowing fine-tuning of 2023 BU's orbit.

NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies' Scout impact hazard assessment system analyzed data from the Minor Planet Center and anticipated that the asteroid would not impact Earth.

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

"The Scout quickly ruled out the impact of 2023 BU, but despite the few observations, it was able to predict that the asteroid would come extraordinarily close to Earth," Davide Farnocchia, a JPL navigation engineer who developed the Scout, said in a statement. .

"In fact, this is one of the closest approximations of a known near-Earth object ever recorded."

Earth's gravity modifies the trajectory of asteroids, but 2023 BU came 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. Afterward, scientists estimate the asteroid's orbit will lengthen, extending that single orbit around the Sun to 425 days.


Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2023-01-27

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