An asteroid named Asteroid 2023 FS11 has been receiving a lot of attention lately from space agencies around the world as it is all set to make a close approach with Earth today. Although smaller asteroids make close approaches to Earth frequently, bigger asteroids seldom do. Even when asteroids come close to Earth, most of them burn up in the planet’s atmosphere. The Near-Earth Object Observations Program, commonly called “Spaceguard,” discovers these objects, characterizes a subset of them, and determines their orbits to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet.
NASA has now issued a warning against an asteroid that will make a very close approach to Earth today, April 3.
Asteroid 2023 FS11 details
NASA has red-flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 FS11 due to its extremely close approach with the planet. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth today, April 3, at a distance of 6.6 million kilometers per hour. It is already on its way towards the planet travelling at a fearsome speed of nearly 42275 kilometers per hour!
Asteroid 2023 FS11 is particularly concerning due to its huge size. It is a 82-foot wide asteroid, which is nearly the size of an aircraft, says NASA. Although this asteroid is not expected to collide with Earth, a slight deviation in its trajectory due to the Earth’s gravitational pull can send the asteroid hurtling towards Earth for an impact.
Protection against asteroids
To counter these asteroids which head for Earth for potential impact, NASA has already carried out the testing of its DART Mission for planetary protection. The space agency crashed a spacecraft into an oncoming asteroid to successfully divert it from its path.
Now, ESA is also gearing up to build an early warning system for dangerous asteroids. Called NEOMIR (Near-Earth Object Mission in the InfraRed), the spacecraft would orbit between the Earth and the Sun at the L1 Lagrange Point, finding space rocks that otherwise get lost in the glare of the Sun, as per the ESA.
The NEOMIR mission will act as an early warning system for asteroids 20 meters and larger that cannot be seen from the ground.