NASA launched the Occurrence, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Conservation-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) on September 8, 2016, as part of a mission to study a hazardous asteroid (PHA) called Bennu. It has a 2700 chance of hitting Earth between 2175 and 2195. After nearly 6 years of traveling around the asteroid and collecting rock and dust, the spacecraft landed safely on our soil on September 24. The collected samples then went under „nitrogen purging” and will now be transported to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, where they will be discovered and distributed to scientists around the world.
In a separate development, NASA has also discovered a near-Earth asteroid whose orbit will bring it closer to Earth today, and it’s bigger than the Chelyabinsk asteroid that injured over a thousand people! Know the details.
Asteroid 2023 SO5: Details of the close approach
NASA has warned that an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 SO5 is heading towards Earth and will make its closest approach to the planet on September 26. is expected to affect the surface. The asteroid will travel at a speed of 60364 kilometers per hour and will pass the Earth at a distance of 4.9 million kilometers.
Despite its close approach and fast speed, NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has not classified this asteroid as a hazardous object due to its relatively small size. This is done only for celestial objects greater than 490 meters that can approach Earth within 7.5 million kilometers.
According to NASA, asteroid 2023 SO5 is almost the size of a 74-foot-wide airplane! It belongs to the Apollo asteroid group, a group of near-Earth asteroids named after the 1862 Apollo asteroid discovered by German astronomer Carl Reinmuth in the 1930s.
NASA also revealed that this will be the first close approach in history to Asteroid 2023 SO5. Although it will come within 70 million kilometers on February 21, 2024, it is not expected to make a very close pass by Earth in the near future.
Interestingly, this asteroid has never come this close to Earth in its history, making this its first close approach. After today, it’s not expected to pass Earth anytime soon, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
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