City killer Asteroid to pass harmlessly between Earth and Moon: A large enough asteroid to destroy a city’s infrastructure will pass between Earth and the Moon’s orbit this weekend. Scientists have the opportunity to observe the object up close.
Although asteroid flybys are quite common, Nasa stated that it is rare for one of these large-sized objects to be so close. They also said that such events occur only once every ten years. Scientists believe it to be between 40-90 meters in diameter.
The asteroid 2023 DZ2 was discovered a month ago. It will pass within 515,000km from the moon on Saturday US Time. A few hours later, it will fly past Earth at approximately 28,000km/h.
Astronomers will have the opportunity to observe a space rock at just 68,000km distance. The asteroid is visible with binoculars or small telescopes at a distance of less than half that from here to the Moon.
Richard Moissl (the European Space Agency’s chief of planetary defense), stated that although there is no danger of the ‘city killer” striking Earth, close proximity offers great opportunities for observations.
According to Nasa, it is a good practice for planet defense if an asteroid that could strike Earth is discovered by astronomers working with the International Asteroid Warning Network.
The Virtual Telescope Project will offer a live webcast on the close approach.
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It won’t return to Earth until 2026 when the asteroid will be again in our path. Scientists have since ruled out any possibility that the asteroid might hit Earth upon its return.