Monday, April 15

An asteroid the size of a bus will fly near Earth on Feb. 22– however do not stress (video)

A recently found asteroid about the size of a school bus will zoom by Earth at a variety more detailed than our moon on Thursday (Feb. 22), however it should not present a danger to our world.

Called 2024 DW, the newfound asteroid has to do with 42 feet (13 meters) large and will fly within 140,000 miles (225,000 kilometers) of the Earth when it goes by us on Thursday. That’s closer than the typical range to the moon, which orbits about 239,000 miles (385,000 kilometers) from Earth, according to NASA.

Related: An asteroid will strike Earth at some time. What can we do about it?

This NASA trajectory map reveals the course of asteroid 2024 DW in between Earth and the moon’s orbit on Feb. 22, 2024. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Asteroid 2024 is simply among a number of so-called “possibly dangerous asteroids”– area rocks with orbits that bring them within 4.6 million miles (7.5 million km) of the Earth– that will zip our world on Feb. 22. It will be the closest. Another bus-sized asteroid will pass at a variety of 482,000 miles (775,000 km), while an asteroid the size of a jumbo jet will zip at comfy range of 2.5 million miles (4 million km), according to a NASA list of the next 5 asteroid flybys.

Asteroid 2024 DW was very first found on Feb. 19 by astronomers with the Mt. Lemmon Survey. This study belongs to the continuous Catalina Sky Survey to track near-Earth asteroids that might possibly threaten our world, according to a database from the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center (MPC) at the Harvard-Smithsonian Carnegie Center for Astrophysics.

Researchers at first utilized the Steward Observatory at Mt. Lemmon Station in the Santa Catalina Mountains northeast of Tucson, Arizona to identify the asteroid. Subsequent observations with a University of Hawaii telescope atop the Mauna Kea volcano validated the discover, according to the MPC.

Astronomers and NASA researchers frequently keep watch for near-Earth asteroids that might publish an effect threat to Earth. In September 2022, NASA’s DART spacecraft crashed into a little asteroid in an effective test of an asteroid deflection strategy that might one day aid protect our world. A year later on, in September 2023, the company’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft brought samples of another area rock, asteroid Bennu, to Earth to much better comprehend the structure of the things.

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Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and signed up with the group in 2001, initially as an intern and personnel author, and later on as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, expedition and area science, in addition to skywatching and home entertainment. He ended up being Space.com’s Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019.

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