Discovered just three weeks ago, asteroid 2023 DZ2 is going to fly past our planet tomorrow. It is estimated to have a size between 40 and 90 meters (130 to 295 feet), putting it in the “city killer” size range where an impact could wipe out a city. But worry not, the asteroid will fly past at the extremely safe distance of 168,300 kilometers (104,600 miles), or about 40 percent of the average distance between the Earth and the Moon.
It is far enough away to be safe but it is close enough that astronomers will get to see some cool science. NASA gives a rarity rating of 3 to this Near-Earth Object, estimating that objects this size get this close only about once a decade. Most of the asteroids spotted have a rarity rating of zero, suggesting that there are about 100 like them every year.
“You may have seen news of this asteroid online in recent days,” European Space Agency Head of Planetary Defence Richard Moissl said in a statement. “There is no chance of this ‘city killer’ striking Earth, but its close approach offers a great opportunity for observations!”
A sentiment echoed by colleagues at NASA who stated online that astronomers in the International Asteroid Warning Network are using the opportunity to practice what they might do if a dangerous asteroid was indeed discovered.
If an object such as this were to hit Earth, there is a chance it would cause quite the damage, and you’d want to put a safe distance between its impact location and yourself. There is no chance that asteroid 2023 DZ2 will hit our planet in the next century, so we can at least place this one in the currently harmless category.
If you would like to see this object moving across the sky, you’ll need at least 9-centimeter (3-inch) binoculars or a telescope. Or you can check out the live stream tomorrow from our friends at the Virtual Telescope project.
Source Link: Once-In-A-Decade Event As Asteroid Flies By Earth Tomorrow