Countdown for the passage of the small asteroid 2023 BU, which will greet Earth from a distance of only 3,600 kilometers, but still safe.
No danger in sight, therefore, from one of the closest passages ever observed, scheduled for the night between 26 and 27 January, precisely at 1:28 Italian time on 27 January over the southern tip of South America.
2023 BU has a diameter between 3.5 and 8.5 meters and it will be possible to observe it from the home PC, thanks to the live broadcast organized by the Virtual Telescope starting at 20:15 and which the ANSA Science and Technology channel will broadcast in live streaming.
"Thanks to the observations, the data relating to the passage of 2023 BU have been further refined and the minimum distance from the Earth is expected to be reached at 1:28 am Italian time on January 27, therefore tonight," he told ANSA. manager of the Virtual Telescope Project, Gianluca Masi.
Discovered just a week ago, the small asteroid 2023 BU will graze our planet passing 3,600 kilometers from the surface, much lower than the telecommunications and meteorological satellites that are normally found at 36,000 kilometers, but much further than satellites in low orbit like that also of the International Space Station which are about 500 kilometers high.
The orbit of asteroid 2023 BU (source: Cneos – Nasa – Jpl)
“It will be the fourth flyby ever, among those recorded, except for the five asteroids with closer flybys that entered the atmosphere shortly after being discovered.
The last of these was less than a year ago,” added Masi.
In the flyby the asteroid will experience a change of trajectory due to the Earth's gravity: before meeting the Earth, 2023 BU had an almost perfectly circular orbit and took 259 days to complete one orbit around the Sun. a flattening of the orbit is expected at night, which will be completed in 425 days.
There is no risk of the asteroid impacting Earth, but even if it does, NASA notes, it is small enough to almost completely disintegrate in the atmosphere.