As scientists had predicted, it passed within 175,000 kilometers of Earth on Saturday after flying past the Moon
The 2023 DZ2an asteroid big enough to destroy a city passed between the orbits of the Earth and the Moon without however causing problems.
As scientists predicted, passed within 175,000 kilometers of Earth on Saturday after flying past the Moon.
It is rare for such a huge asteroid – estimated to be between 40 and 90 meters in diameter – to come so close to our planet.
Astronomers described it as a once-a-decade event.
See the virtual path of the asteroid:
According to NASA, it was an important opportunity for astronomers to increase their knowledge of asteroids, in case a dangerous object was detected that had the potential to hit Earth.
“There is no chance that this ‘city killer’ will hit Earth, but its close approach offers a great opportunity for observations,” said the head of planetary defense at the European Space Agency, Richard Moisl.
Asteroid 2023 DZ2 will pass Earth more than 100,000 miles (161,000 km) away–about half the distance to the Moon–making its close approach at 3:51 pm EDT (12:51 pm PDT). Check out @NASA_Eyes on Asteroids at https://t.co/pOaKAAdsRK
— NASA (@NASA) March 25, 2023
He also added that preliminary data suggested that 2023 DZ2 was “a scientifically interesting object.”
With such a close pass from Earth, the asteroid was visible with binoculars and small telescopes around the globe.
The object looks likely to return to Earth’s orbit in 2026, but scientists have already ruled it out as a threat to the planet.
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