The asteroid 2023 BU is set to make a terrifyingly close approach to the Earth and it has sparked concerns on whether it can strike the planet. Information from NASA sheds light on what is likely to happen.
A sneaky asteroid is on its way and it is set to make one of the closest approaches to the Earth. In fact, it will be closer to us than the satellites around the Earth. And that is absolutely terrifying as it increases the chance of an asteroid strike exponentially as our planet’s gravitational force may pull it in . The question also arises exactly what kind of damage can an 82-feet wide asteroid do to the planet. Luckily for us, NASA information tells us exactly what will happen if this asteroid were to be dragged towards the Earth for an impact.
According to the data from NASA Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the asteroid will make its closest approach to our planet at 2:47 AM IST on January 27. At that point, 2023 BU will be flying at the speed of 53591 kilometers per hour at a distance of 3500 kilometers above the sea level. This will be the fourth nearest flyby of an asteroid in more than 35000 past and future asteroid close approaches in the CNEOS database, which covers a period of 300 years from 1900 to 2200. This is an extremely rare scenario.
Will the asteroid 2023 BU hit the Earth
And due to these circumstances, there is a fear that this asteroid might crash onto the planet. Astonishingly, the asteroid itself was discovered just last Saturday, January 21 and ever since then, scientists have been calculating its likely trajectory. Astronomers have calculated that a chance for a collision are not that high in this instance and the asteroid will most likely fly away without harming the planet.
But even if it were to strike the planet due to a last moment deviation from its path, NASA believes it will still not be a big concern. NASA website says, “Space rocks smaller than about 25 meters (about 82 feet) will most likely burn up as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere and cause little or no damage”.
A similar event was observed in 2013, when an asteroid exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia. It exploded high up in the sky with only damage to the city being broken window glasses due to the sonic boom. Many people got injured in this, but none from the direct explosion of the asteroid.