One threat that is constantly looming on Earth is the danger from asteroids. Asteroid threat has been present for millions of years now. These ancient space rocks have periodically collided with Earth, shaping its history and causing the extinction of untold number of species. Asteroids were first discovered and recognised as such on January 1, 1801.
To deepen our understanding of asteroids, particularly those beyond the asteroid belt, NASA initiated the Lucy mission on October 16, 2021. As reported earlier, it was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This mission’s primary objective is the study of Trojan asteroids. Lucy is specifically designed to explore Trojan asteroids located millions of kilometers from Earth. Recently, the spacecraft captured its first images of a Trojan asteroid named Dinikinesh.
Now, NASA has caught an asteroid that is fast approaching Earth and will get very close. Know if it is hazardous for Earth or not:
Asteroid 2023 RD13
This asteroid is designated as 2023 RD13 by NASA. As per the data provided by NASA on its CNEOS website, this asteroid was first observed on 23 August and lastly observed on 15 September. This asteroid is about to approach Earth today, 17 September. It is moving towards Earth at a speed of 17526 km per hour. The width of this asteroid is 53 feet and is as big as the size of a house. Its close approach towards Earth is expected to be 3.48 million kilometers. This asteroid belongs to the Apollo group, which was discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.
Is Asteroid 2023 RD13 a potential threat?
Asteroids can be ‘Potentially Hazardous’ if they come within 7.5 million kilometers of Earth and have a size bigger than 150 meters, as explained by NASA. Therefore, asteroid 2023 RD13 is not a potential threat to Earth. It will not cause any hazard to Earth as its approximate size is just 16 meters. And this is so even though its close approach to Earth will be 3.48 million kilometers.