Aster size of delivery truck to pass Earth in one of most closest encounters

Aster size of delivery truck to pass Earth in one of most closest encounters

An asteroid the size of a delivery truck will pass Earth in one of the closest encounters ever recorded coming within a tenth of the distance of most communication satellites orbit.

Nasa said the newly discovered asteroid would pass 2,200 miles 3,600 km above the southern tip of South America at 7.27 pm US eastern time on Thursday 12.27 am GMT on Friday. Nasa said it would be a near miss with no chance of hitting Earth. Although it came a lot closer, scientists said most of it would burn up in the atmosphere, with bigger pieces possibly falling as meteorites.

Nasa s impact hazard assessment system, called Scout, quickly ruled out a strike, according to its developer Davide Farnocchia, an engineer at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Despite the very few observations, it was nonetheless able to predict that the asteroid would make an extraordinarily close approach to Earth, Farnocchia said. This is one of the closest approaches by a known near-Earth object ever recorded. The asteroid known as 2023 BU is believed to be located between 11 ft 3.5 m and 28 ft 8.5 m across.

It was first seen by the amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov in Crimea, who discovered an interstellar comet in 2019. Hundreds of observations were made by astronomers around the world within a few days, allowing them to refine the path of the asteroid.

That path will be altered by Earth's gravity as it passes. Nasa said that instead of the sun circling every 359 days, it will move into an oval orbit lasting 425 days.