Giant Object To Pass By Earth, NASA Says

The universe is full of astronomical mysteries, and asteroid 2023 JD2 is currently in the spotlight. 

On May 16, a near-Earth object, part of the Apollo Group discovered on May 13, will pass by our planet, providing a spectacular view for skywatchers. 

The asteroid ranges from around 480 to about 1,070 meters in length and width.  Luckily, it won’t hit Earth.

According to NASA, asteroids and comets that orbit closer to the Sun than 120 million miles are considered “near-Earth objects” (NEOs.) Asteroids that get too close to Earth might create catastrophic events; thus, this story has gotten much attention. NASA, however, has assured us that there is no danger of an impact from this particular asteroid.

Tomorrow at 19:52 GMT is when the asteroid will come closest to the planet. NASA estimates that at that time, it will have traveled approximately 0.03au (3.4 million miles) away from Earth at velocities of up to 29,000mph. 

Most NEOs are asteroids whose diameters range from a few meters to roughly 40 kilometers. 

Although NASA estimates the likelihood of this particular asteroid colliding with Earth to be extremely low, they have not entirely ruled out the possibility of future collisions.

At the beginning of 2019, NASA identified more than 19,000 objects, including roughly 30 new “near-Earth objects” (NEOs) weekly.

NASA’s Asteroid Watch program monitors space rocks and comets that could make close approaches to Earth. Not one of the 30,000 asteroids cataloged as passing close to Earth poses a threat to our planet within the next century.

About 4.6 billion years ago, a massive cloud of gas and dust collapsed, giving birth to the solar system and its associated asteroid belt. As a result, the cloud’s center became densely packed with solar material, and the sun was born. Planets were generated from dust that was condensing in the cloud.

Minor and dormant asteroids orbit the sun, usually within the asteroid belt, which stretches from Mars to Jupiter. Once in a while, an asteroid will take an orbit that brings it well into the solar system, potentially putting Earth in its path. Their makeup may include dust, rock, or metal.