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A small asteroid will graze the Earth, none has ever been so close


Asteroid 2023 BU will pass, just 3,600 km from the Earth's surface, near the southern tip of South America at around 1:27 a.m. this n

A small, truck-sized asteroid will pass Earth overnight Thursday through Friday, with one of the closest trajectories to our planet on record, but without any danger, NASA has announced.

Asteroid 2023 BU, recently discovered by an amateur astronomer, will pass near the southern tip of South America around 00:27 GMT on Friday (1:27 a.m. in Paris), NASA said in a statement.

It will pass just 3,600 km from the Earth's surface, much closer than many geostationary satellites orbiting the planet.

But there is no risk that the asteroid will hit the Earth, underlines the American space agency.

Even if it did, the asteroid, which measures between 3.5 and 8.5 meters in diameter, would largely disintegrate in our atmosphere, potentially dropping only a few pieces of debris as small meteorites.

An asteroid discovered on Saturday

The object was spotted from an observatory in Crimea on Saturday by amateur astronomer Gennady Borissov, the discoverer of the interstellar comet Borissov in 2019. Dozens of observations were then made by observatories around the world, confirming the arrival of 2023 BU.

NASA's impact risk assessment system, Scout, quickly ruled out impact with Earth.

"Despite the very few sightings, he was still able to predict that the asteroid would make an extraordinarily close approach to Earth," said Davide Farnocchia, a navigation engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which developed Scout.

Read alsoThe core of the Earth would be changing the direction of rotation

It is "one of the closest approaches by a near-Earth object (

an asteroid or a comet whose orbit crosses that of the Earth

) ever recorded", he adds.

The asteroid will come so close to the blue planet that Earth's gravity is expected to alter its orbit around the Sun.

Before its arrival, it took 359 days for the asteroid to go around our star.

It will now need 425, according to NASA.

Source: leparis

All tech articles on 2023-01-26

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