An asteroid large enough to wipe out a city will hurtle between Earth and the Moon’s orbit this weekend in a close encounter visible through binoculars and small telescopes.
The 300-foot (90-meter) piece of space rock, about the size of the Elizabeth Tower in Westminster (316 feet, or 96 meters) that houses Big Ben, will fly at 17,500 miles per hour.
Passing about 100,000 miles (168,000 kilometers) — less than half the distance between Earth and the moon — will give astronomers the opportunity to study the “city killer” asteroid from close quarters.
While such cosmic encounters are common, NASA It’s rare, he said, that someone gets close to that big — about once every decade.
Discovered a month ago, the asteroid known as 2023 DZ2 left the planet unharmed on Saturday, before returning to the solar system.
European Space Agency “There is no chance of the City Killer hitting Earth, but its close approach provides a great opportunity for observation,” said Planetary Defense Secretary Richard Moisel.
Scientists at the International Asteroid Warning Network see it as good planetary defense practice if and when a dangerous asteroid poses a threat, according to NASA.
The space suit lands the astronauts in a new look
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope captures an image of a dying star
NASA is tracking a new asteroid that has a ‘very small chance of impacting Earth in 2046’
The Virtual Telescope Project will provide a live online broadcast of the close approach.
The asteroid is scheduled to return in 2026, and although it initially seemed like there was a small chance it could hit Earth at that time, scientists have since ruled it out.