Asteroid 2012 DA14
Huge Asteroid Will Be One Of The Closest Approaches To Earth Next Year NASA

An asteroid, about the size of a delivery truck, is coming exceedingly close to earth on Thursday, Jan. 26 night.

The newly discovered asteroid, which is estimated to be about the size of a delivery truck, will zoom 2,200 miles (3,600 kilometers) above the southern tip of South America on Thursday, Jan. 26. It will be 10 times closer than the bevy of communication satellites circling overhead Earth and will be one of the closest such encounters ever recorded, Associated Press News reported.

According to NASA, even though it is one of the closest such encounters ever recorded, it will be a near miss with no chance of the asteroid hitting Earth. NASA states that even if the asteroid comes a lot closer to earth, most of it would burn up in the atmosphere, with some of the bigger pieces possibly falling as meteorites.

“But despite the very few observations, it was nonetheless able to predict that the asteroid would make an extraordinarily close approach with Earth,” Davide Farnocchia, an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and the developer of NASA’s impact hazard assessment system, called Scout, said in a statement. “In fact, this is one of the closest approaches by a known near-Earth object ever recorded.”

The asteroid, known as 2023 BU, was first discovered on Saturday, Jan. 21. The asteroid is believed to be between 11 feet (3.5 meters) and 28 feet (8.5 meters) feet across and was first spotted by the same amateur astronomer in Crimea, Gennady Borisov, who discovered an interstellar comet in 2019. Within a few days of discovery, dozens of observations were made by astronomers around the world about the asteroid, allowing them to refine the asteroid’s orbit, KCRA-TV reported.

According to NASA, the asteroid’s path will be drastically altered by Earth’s gravity once it zips past Earth. The asteroid will then move into an oval orbit lasting 425 days instead of circling the sun every 359 days.

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