A Wide Asteroid Will Safely Pass Between the Earth and Moon: Marking a Once-in-a-Decade Event
On March 25, a 200-foot-wide asteroid nearly the size of a skyscraper will safely pass between the Earth and the Moon at a distance less than half the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
According to Earth Sky, this asteroid is known as 2023 DZ2 and will pass very close to Earth at 2:51 p.m. central time (CT) and 1:21 a.m. Indian Standard Time (IST). Therefore, the asteroid is classified as NEO 2023 DZ2 (a near-Earth object).
However, astronomers at the La Palma Observatory on the Canary Islands in Spain observed this newly discovered asteroid in late February.
It takes 3.16 years to complete one solar orbit. Thus, the asteroid is also classified as an Apollo-class asteroid because it crosses Earth’s orbit. Its diameter is thought to be between 44 and 99 meters.
NASA Asteroid Watch tweets that “close approaches of asteroids are common, but the single approach by an asteroid of this size (140–310 feet) occurs only once in a decade.”
The asteroid could potentially cause major damage to Earth if it collides but Earth Sky estimates that it will pass by safely at a speed of 28,044 km/h.
You can also watch the asteroid live if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere. It will look like a “slow-moving star,” and for the best view, use six-inch or larger telescopes.