Scary Asteroid flying by the Earth tonight could destroy an entire city
A newly discovered asteroid called DZ2 will pass between Earth and the moon in close proximity, but when exactly will the rare phenomenon occur and can you see it?
The night sky has a lot to offer, but not everything is possible for our naked eyes to see. Just this week, a rare star sighting occurred on March 23 and March 24, when planet Venus shone brightly above and below the moon.
Even though movements of the asteroid between Earth and the moon isn’t an extremely rare occurrence, a space rock of this size passes only once in 10 years.
But, is it possible to get a glimpse of it?
Newly discovered space rock is named 2023 DZ2
The National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) said the asteroid which is passing between the two celestial bodies is named 2023 DZ2, and it was discovered recently.
This is being treated as a unique opportunity for scientific study as an object of this size approaches so close to Earth once in a decade.
The asteroid is about 140-310 ft big and will be passing by Earth at 100K-plus miles away.
NASA has noted that the passage of the asteroid is safe and doesn’t pose any threat to Earth. And, scientists are expecting it to return in 2026.
When will the asteroid pass between Earth and the moon?
The 2023 DZ2 asteroid will pass between Earth and the moon today, Saturday, March 25 at 11:30 pm UTC or 4:30 pm PST.
The Virtual Telescope Project is streaming it live.
Since the object is coming unusually close to Earth, it should be visible in certain regions, but scientists recommend high-power binoculars and telescopes for a clear view.
It’s also called the ‘City Killer’
The name City Killer, given to an asteroid that is coming extremely close to us, may be alarming, but it is going to be a flyby, scientists say.
However, it doesn’t eliminate the fact that it could easily destroy a complete city should it hit one. But, it wouldn’t be concerning if the landing takes place in a desert or in the middle of the ocean.
Richard Moissi, ESA head of the Planetary Defence Office, said: “That’s where the term ‘city killer’ comes from. If such an object would be going down directly over a city, this would be a problem: The whole city would likely be heavily damaged, and should be evacuated.
“City killer is a nice slogan. It’s not a bad description. That’s why we didn’t completely throw it out of the window. Because it says in two words: This is dangerous on the level of being capable of destroying the city.”
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