• Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

A dangerous asteroid at least 1,200-feet high is hurtling toward Earth

A dangerous asteroid at least 1,200-feet high is hurtling toward Earth

A Risky An asteroid the size of the Empire State Building is hurtling toward Earth, and you can watch its close approach live. Asteroid 1994 XD is expected to pass the Moon at eight times the distance of Earth.

Asteroid 1994 XD is named after the year it was discovered by the Spacewatch Group at Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona in December 1994. It is estimated to be about 370 to 830 meters (1,214 to 2,723 ft) in diameter. By comparison, the Empire State Building in New York is 443.2 meters (1,454 ft) tall. It is expected to come within 3.1 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) of Earth on June 12, 2023. Virtual Telescope Project 2.0,

It also plans to live-stream the asteroid’s close approach.

The mammoth asteroid is not alone. In 2005, astronomers learned that 1994 XD is actually a binary asteroid, or a large asteroid with a moon orbiting it. It is similar to the binary asteroid targeted by NASA the arrow mission, a spacecraft crashed into Dimorphos, a moon of Didymos. The space agency announced that the experiment was successful, changing the moon’s orbit by 32 minutes.

Image 1994 XD of asteroid 25 million kilometers from Earth.

The image above comes from an average of six, 120-second exposures taken with the Celestron C14+Paramount ME+SBIG ST8-XME robotic unit made available to the Virtual Telescope Project. Asteroid 1994 XD was about 25 million kilometers from Earth when the image was taken.

Asteroid 1994 XD It orbits the Sun about once every 3.6 years and won’t make another close-to-Earth flyby until 2041. It is labeled as “dangerous” because it is a near-Earth object with an orbit that approaches Earth very closely. If it were to impact, it would be large enough to cause significant local damage.

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