This weekend, on March 25 and 26, an asteroid will fly between the Earth and the Moon at a speed of 27.4 thousand km/h relative to our planet. An asteroid called 2023 DZ2 was discovered at the La Palma Observatory in the Canary Islands almost a month before the approach to Earth – on February 27, 2023.
Scientists have calculated the probability of a collision. The good news is that 2023 DZ2 will fly at a distance of about 175 thousand km, so it does not pose any risk to our planet. Although this approach distance is considered relatively dangerous. On the other hand, asteroids of this size fly past the Earth about once a decade, so for scientists it is still an opportunity to observe the space rock. Astronomers from the International Asteroid Warning Network will use the approach to learn as much as possible about 2023 DZ2.
A newly discovered #asteroid named 2023 DZ2 will safely pass by Earth on Saturday at 100K+ miles away. ????
While close approaches are a regular occurrence, one by an asteroid of this size (140-310 ft) happens only about once per decade, providing a unique opportunity for science.
— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) March 21, 2023
“Although such approaches are a regular occurrence, an asteroid measuring 60-100 m across flies past our planet only once a decade, which provides a unique opportunity for science,” NASA reports on its Asteroid Watch account.
As part of its ongoing efforts to protect the planet from space threats, NASA has hit a remote asteroid with a probe to see if the kinetic force of the collision will change its course. Initial data indicate that the ambitious DART mission has been successful, which gives humanity a chance to better protect itself from any dangerous asteroids that may pose a threat to the life of the Earth in the future.
How to observe 2023 DZ2
Since the asteroid will pass about halfway between the Earth and the Moon, it will resemble a slow-moving star. But its stellar magnitude is so small that it will take a telescope to view 2023 DZ2. The best place to observe is the Northern Hemisphere, starting on March 24, if the sky is clear. Sky Live offers accurate data that will help observers determine the position of the space rock as it hurtles past Earth.
For those who will not have the opportunity to observe the space event, the movement of asteroid 2023 DZ2 in real time can be tracked using the NASA Eyes on Asteroids website, a powerful 3D visualization tool that tracks all known asteroids in our Solar System.
Earlier we reported on how the NASA warning system provided for the fall of an asteroid to Earth.
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