The Asteroid 2023 BU is going to make an extremely close approach to the Earth, closer than even our satellites. Find out if it can strike our planet and cause major destruction.
The Earth is going to witness a scary event soon. Generally, almost every day, we see asteroids flying past the Earth from close distances. But these still maintain a distance between a few hundred thousand kilometers to a few million kilometers, thereby lowering the chance of an asteroid strike. However, soon a new-found asteroid is going to come closer to Earth than satellites orbiting our planet. The Asteroid 2023 BU is going to come as near as 3500 kilometers to Earth. Know whether it can strike our planet.
The development was reported by SpaceWeather.com which noted on its website, “Newly-discovered asteroid 2023 BU will make an extremely close approach to Earth this Thursday. On Jan 26th at 21:17 UTC (16:17 EST), the 5-meter-wide space rock will be just 3500 km above South America, well within our planet’s belt of geosynchronous satellites”. In Indian Standard Time, this will be 2:47 AM on January 27.
Dangerous asteroid to come extremely close to the Earth
Even as the asteroid is just 5 meters wide, it can cause some destruction if it were to be pulled in by the Earth’s gravitational force. However, an asteroid this size is likely to explode mid-air and only meteorites may reach Earth. But, if the asteroid burns up or explodes in the sky over a populous area, people may get injured. Also, the sonic boom could impact the local infrastructure. A similar asteroid explosion occurred in Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013. Luckily, nobody died in that event but many got injured.
Nevertheless, there is no need to panic just yet. Astronomers believe there is very little chance of the asteroid actually striking the Earth. However, a close watch is being kept on it to watch for any new developments.
If you wish to watch this event from a powerful telescope, you should know that The Virtual Telescope Project will host a webcast of the event which you can watch live here. The livestream begins at 12:45 AM on January 27.