An asteroid will shortly pass close to Earth. Scientists are certain this asteroid will miss us, even if others believe it's more probable and deadly. Even things closer to us burn up in our atmosphere.
The NEO asteroid will pass Earth on Wednesday at 1.1 lunar distances. It will be 1.1 times the Moon's orbit when it's closest. For more exact but less relevant statistics, the Moon is 238,900 miles distant and the asteroid will pass by at 262,790 miles.
This asteroid will pass within 30 million miles of us since NASA has classified 31,000 objects as NEOs. The space agency's sub-classification of "potentially hazardous" suggests that an object's course may affect Earth in the future, yet 2023 HV5 is just 42 feet wide.
If it were bigger, like a building, it may be more dangerous, but NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) assesses its collision probability at 0.00024.
We're happy to hear that specific numerical fact, even though yesterday's Star Wars Day had us think, "Never tell us the odds." 2,300 potentially dangerous things have been found. This classification is given to objects anticipated to come within 4.6 million miles of Earth and have a diameter more than 460 feet.
2023 HV5 is in the potentially harmful range but not big enough to be a concern. An asteroid swarm might be worse, but it's unlikely. Scientists can now identify and deflect planet-threatening objects with more technologies than ever.
For instance, the recent DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission diverted an asteroid's route by slamming a satellite into its surface, making us feel safer.
Dimorphos, an asteroid, was circling its parent, Didymos, at 11 hours and 55 minutes until NASA's DART collision reduced it to 11 hours and 23 minutes. This was 25 times the test's minimal standard, giving the endeavor a major success. Rather of eliminating such items, we should try to change their direction to avert disaster.
With new tracking and deflection technologies, we can better understand NEOs and handle potentially hazardous ones in the future. It's easy to imagine an asteroid smashing into our planet and causing major upheaval, as has probably happened at least once in our distant past.
Because experimentation, research, and development take years, space scientists think in lengthy time periods. They want to protect our world for future generations and be ready today.
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