This asteroid will pass between the Earth and the Moon this weekend and can be observed
The asteroid called “2023 DZ2” was discovered in late February by astronomers at the La Palma Observatory in Spain’s Canary Islands. Asteroids are small rocky bodies that orbit the sun. There are thousands of them in our solar system and it is not uncommon for one to pass close to Earth.
But this event is special. Scientists estimate that the diameter of DZ2 ranges from 40 to 90. In addition, the space rock is hurtling about 170,000 kilometers from Earth — about half the distance to the Moon — at 28,000 kilometers per hour. According to NASA, an asteroid of this size approaches only once every ten years.
By the way this will happen without risk. At first, there seemed to be a small chance (1 in 38 million) that the asteroid would hit Earth upon its return in 2026. However, scientists have since ruled out this risk.
Fortunately, because this asteroid could cause severe damage if it hits the Earth. The meteorite that caused severe damage in Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013 is estimated to be three times the size of the meteorite that caused severe damage. Then thousands of buildings were destroyed and more than 1,400 people were injured.
So ESA’s Richard Moisel is talking about a “city killer”. “There’s no chance this city killer will ever hit the ground, but the close approach provides a great viewing opportunity,” he says.
How do you watch?
Stargazers with a small telescope (6 inches or larger) or binoculars will have a chance to see the space rock from the northern hemisphere tonight. The asteroid will appear as a slow-moving star above the southeastern horizon, east of the constellations Orion, Canis Major, and Canis Minor.
DZ2 will make its closest approach to Earth on Saturday evening at 8:51 PM Belgian time, but it is best observed at night from Friday to Saturday.
Those who do not have the appropriate material can also see the asteroid in a different way. The virtual telescope project will pass live feed At night from Friday to Saturday from 0.30 am.
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