Most asteroids are in the asteroid belt, which is located between Mars and Jupiter in the solar system. However, some asteroids have trajectories that cause them to come closer to Earth. Space agencies such as NASA monitor these asteroids that pass close to Earth to reduce any uncertainty as they can prove to be hazardous. Over the last few years, there have been a number of instances where asteroids have come very close to our planet, posing a potential threat. Small ones crash on Earth on a regular basis. As per ESA, 1-metre wide asteroids crash on Earth every 2 weeks or so. Bigger ones, like the asteroid that exploded over Russia’s Chelyabinsk, caused destruction worth millions and injured more than 1400 people.
However, due to the early detection and monitoring of these asteroids owing to advancement in tech, scientists have been able to determine whether these asteroids pose any danger to Earth weeks before they even come close to Earth. NASA has now revealed that a similar asteroid is all set to pass the planet at fearsome speed today.
Information about Asteroid 2023 DM
NASA has warned that an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 DM is charging towards Earth and is expected to pass by the planet closely today March 15. In fact, this space rock is already on its way towards us travelling at a staggering speed of 26446 kilometers per hour. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of just 3.2 million kilometers or 0.02177 astronomical units.
An astronomical unit (AU, or au) is basically a unit of length equal to the average, or mean, distance between Earth and the Sun, that is, 149,597,870.7 kilometers. Although this distance may seem a lot, it is relatively a small number in astronomical distances, considering how big the asteroid is.
Danger caused by the asteroid
Asteroid 2023 DM is particularly concerning due to its sheer size. With a width of nearly 200 feet, this space rock is the size of an aircraft! Impact of an asteroid this size would cause regional destruction but would not be able to end life on Earth. However, it could still cause significant destruction to life and property if it crashed in densely populated areas.
These close calls with asteroids highlight the importance of continued technological development in asteroid detection and monitoring programs, which help to ensure the safety of our planet from the potential impact of these space rocks.