Near-Earth asteroid 2023 BU to zoom past Earth at unprecedented proximity, NASA confirms

The ongoing period of various affairs that mother Earth is confronting are not the usual everyday events. After the recent news that was updated by various media outlets, including vice.com, that told the netizens about the stopping of Earth’s core, and even the direction of its movement might be reversed, there is yet another nature’s play with our planet.

According to a piece of news shared by abc.net.au, NASA forecasted that an asteroid, a small rocky body ranging in size, will come exceptionally close to Earth. The asteroid 2023 BU got the attention of the experts on Wednesday. Further added by the space agency that this rare event will take place on Friday, 11:27 am AEDT, zooming past about 3,600 kilometers above the southern tip of South America. NASA’s impact-hazard-assessment system, called Scout, also determined that the asteroid poses no impact hazard after some people started to show concerns about its collision, which proved to be a sigh of relief for the netizens across the globe. Even if the space body came closer than what is anticipated, it will be a mere burn-up in the sky. While reporting, an established news outlet also conveyed that Dr. Farnocchia told the agency:

“But despite the very few observations, it was nonetheless able to predict that the asteroid would make an extraordinarily close approach to Earth. This is one of the closest approaches by a known near-Earth object ever recorded.”

While various comparisons are being made about the size of the asteroid, the most quoted one is that of a ‘delivery truck’, but the specifications are that the asteroid is approximately to be between 3.5 meters and 8.5 meters wide.

The asteroid 2023 BU was first spotted (discovered) by Gennadiy Borisov, a Crimean astronomer who also found an interstellar comet 2I/Borisov back in 2019. The reports were further conducted at the Minor Planet Centre, which is the internationally recognized clearinghouse for the position measurements of small celestial bodies. After sufficient observations and data collection, MPC announced the discovery.

The asteroid will fly past the Earth’s surface at an estimated speed of around 53,591 kilometers per hour. While progressively increasing research is underway about the expected orbit of the asteroid, it is put forth that 2023 BU will tread an oval path. Instead, of circling the Sun for the usual 359 days it spent previously, the asteroid will follow an oval orbit requiring about 425 days due to the Earth’s influence, according to NASA. It is also worth telling that after passing across the Earth’s surroundings, the asteroid’s track will drastically alter due to the influence of gravity.

You can also watch the asteroid when it passes past the Earth’s surface as well. The usual method is via a Telescope, which can zoom the foreign entity to a visible extent. If you do not have an access to a Telescope, you can follow ‘The Virtual Telescope Project’, which may host a live stream of the asteroid for sky gazers on Friday. The asteroid will not be visible to the naked eye.

Umar Ali
As editor in chief, I am always on the road, searching for hidden gems, undiscovered waterfalls, enticing hikes to explore, underrated delis, and more. Crafting compelling content that captures the true essence of each place is my passion. With years of experience in travel journalism, I strive to provide unbiased and factual content based on my real-life experiences. When I'm not out exploring, you can find me delving into local markets and devouring new foods, immersing myself in the cultures and communities that make each destination unique. It might sound like a tough job, but I love it!

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