A 93-meter-diameter asteroid will pass close to Earth: it happens only “once a decade”

The asteroid named ‘2023 DZ2’ This Saturday, March 25, it will approach 173 thousand kilometers from Earth, that is, twice as close as the moon. The huge space rock was discovered on February 27.

Due to its enormous size, English media such as the daily maildid not hesitate to compare the 93 meter asteroid with the iconic London clock tower, Big Ben (mid 96 meters). It is currently estimated to be three times larger than the Chelyabinsk asteroid that hit Russia in 2013 and sent a shock wave around the world twice.

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According to scientists, 2023 DZ2 will have its greatest arrival on Earth at 19:51 GMT (16:51 Argentine time), at a speed of 28,044 km/h. From NASA they affirmed that an object of this size that passes so close to Earth it happens “only once a decade”.

The US space agency’s Asteroid Watch team tweeted: “International Asteroid Warning Network astronomers are using this close-up approach to learn as much as possible about 2023 DZ2 in a short period of time – good practice for #PlanetaryDefense in the future if a potential asteroid threat were ever discovered.”

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The first sighting of the asteroid

The asteroid was discovered on February 27 this year by scientists working with the European Near-Earth Asteroid Research Project. They observed it using the Isaac Newton Telescope at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in the Canary Islands, Spain.

At that time it was 16 million kilometers from Earth and it took about 3.16 years to orbit the Sun. But after passing our planet and being exposed to its gravity, its orbital period will be reduced to about 3.01 years .

2023 DZ2 is an Apollo asteroid, which means that it crosses Earth’s orbit just like the asteroid named ‘Apollo’ in 1862, which was the first to be observed doing this.

The origin of the asteroid

While it is not known exactly where it came from, most near-Earth asteroids originate from the “main” asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars.

NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office says that “the vast majority of near-Earth asteroids come from the inner part of the main belt where, for tens of millions of years, their orbits have been altered by Jupiter’s gravitational influence.” and Mars, and some by mutual collisions.

While the maximum potential diameter of 2023 DZ2 is 96 meters, scientists claimed that it could reach 41 meters in diameter. The Chelyabinsk asteroid, which caused widespread damage and injured more than 1,600 people when it struck, measured just 19 meters. According to experts, there is no probability that the 2023 DZ2 will hit the ground.


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