NASA’s asteroid tracker brings some thrilling news once again: an asteroid known as 2023 HO18, which is of a pretty imposing size, passed close to our planet yesterday, May 4. The space rock is large enough to be comparable with 28 sheep in diameter, as The Jerusalem Post reveals.
For an asteroid to be capable of eradicating all life forms on Earth, it needs to be of a few kilometers in diameter. Obviously, and luckily for us all, the 2023 HO18 asteroid doesn’t qualify for that description. But even so, you still wouldn’t want it to land anywhere near your household. The space rock is still large enough to demolish a small town if it hits our planet someday. For the moment, it has successfully passed by.
As you’ve probably already guessed due to its name, the asteroid was recently discovered this year, as the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA reported.
Although the flyby has been closer than usual, the rarity rating is only one, which indicates that there is no cause for concern as it poses no threat of colliding with our planet. The same goes for the two other asteroids also passing by Earth on the same day.
To provide an even better idea of the 2023 HO 18 asteroid’s size, NASA estimates that it has a diameter of roughly 50 meters, which is equivalent to approximately 164 feet or just under 55 yards.
One of the amazing facts about asteroids is that they can range in size from as small as pebbles to as large as hundreds of kilometers in diameter. Some of these space rocks are even larger than some moons that exist in our solar system. For instance, the largest asteroid, Ceres, which resides in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, reaches a diameter of roughly 940 kilometers (584 miles).