WASHINGTON: Asteroid 2023 BU pass by earth in one of the closest approaches to our planet ever recorded, Nasa said, emphasizing that it poses no danger.
Asteroid 2023 BU, which was recently discovered by an amateur astronomer, will zoom by the southern tip of South America on Thursday (Friday, PST) according to Nasa.
22OO Miles Close
It will pass just 2,200 miles from Earth’s surface. Its much closer than many geostationary satellites orbiting the planet. But there is no risk that the asteroid will hit Earth, Nasa said in a statement on Wednesday.
Even if it did, the asteroid measuring 3.5 to 8.5metres across would largely disintegrate in the Earth’s atmosphere, potentially just resulting in a few small meteorites.
It was discovered on Saturday from an observatory in Crimea by amateur astronomer Gennadiy Borisov. He previously spotted an interstellar comet in 2019. Dozens of observations were then carried out by observatories across the world.
Previously it took the asteroid 359 days to complete its orbit around the Sun. But the asteroid will come so close that its trajectory around the Sun will be significantly altered. Passing by this close it will now take 425, NASA said.