An asteroid is racing extremely close to Earth on Thursday. “2023BU” comes 100 times more compared to the blue planet in the process than the moon.
Even for observers, completely surprised, a celestial body will fly past our planet on Thursday in close striking distance to the Earth. As the European Space Agency (ESA) announced on Twitter, a small asteroid will “safely” fly past Earth in the evening – so there is no danger!
Remarkable is the incident, but all the same. Because the asteroid with the bulky name “2023BU” comes to the Earth in its flight through the universe 100 times closer than the moon and ten times closer than satellites in “geostationary” orbit – this type of satellite orbits the Earth parallel to the equator at an altitude of about 36,000 kilometres. At this altitude, the satellite’s orbital velocity and the Earth’s rotational velocity are identical, so the satellite appears stationary or geostationary to an observer on Earth.
“2023BU” has a diameter of only three to eight meters and comes an incredible 3,600 kilometres close to the Earth’s surface – extremely little by astronomical standards. This corresponds, for example, to the distance from Vienna to Greenland. The ESA describes that the asteroid’s course is “dramatically” influenced by the Earth’s gravitational pull.
By the way, the celestial body was discovered only last Saturday. The fact that the asteroid was discovered in advance despite its tiny size shows how much detection technologies have improved.
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