Hearing that an asteroid is passing by the Earth closer than the Moon is not exactly a regular occurrence. It’s not like you hear about it every day, right? But even though it’s a rare event, we must admit, it still makes us feel a bit uncomfortable.
It’s great to be all for astronomy and to explore the vast unknowns of space, but when an object the size of a football field comes hurtling towards our planet at breakneck speeds, it’s enough to make even the bravest among us feel a bit uneasy.
It’s like, “Hey, Earth, I know we’ve had some good times, but I think it’s time we see other planets.” And who knows what kind of damage it could do if it actually hit us? It could be like the world’s worst game of dodgeball.
2023 EY Passes By Earth TODAY
A newly found asteroid, named 2023 EY, is set to pass by Earth at a distance of about 240,000 kilometers, which is less than two-thirds the distance of the Moon, as ScienceAlert reveals. The asteroid is roughly the size of a house and poses no threat to our planet. Although it won’t be visible to the naked eye, it will be visible through telescopes, and the Virtual Telescope Project will be live streaming the flyby.
The 2023 EY asteroid was only first spotted on March 13 by the ATLAS network’s telescope in South Africa, which provides early warning systems for asteroids. The asteroid is classified as an Apollo NEO and is part of the biggest group of NEOs currently known, with 17,540 Apollo asteroids as of February 2023.
Although 2,000 of the Apollo asteroids are identified as potentially hazardous asteroids, 2023 EY is not one of them. NASA’s Asteroid Watch Dashboard has listed the asteroid due to its close approach. The flyby is a cool opportunity to witness a space rock as it continues on its long journey around the Sun.
We’re safe for now, but who knows what dangers lurk in the vast darkness of space?