An asteroid the size of a truck passed near Earth Thursday without causing any damage, according to what the US space agency announced [ناسا].
There was no need to launch a space mission aimed at exploding the asteroid or diverting its path through missiles, as appears in Hollywood films, as the BU-2023 asteroid passed by Earth without recording any incident before completing its path in space.
The asteroid approached the southern tip of South America on Friday at approximately 00.27 GMT, according to scientists, and was at a distance of 3,600 km from the Earth’s surface, much closer than several satellites orbiting the Earth.
The asteroid was spotted on Saturday by an observatory in Crimea by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov, who had previously spotted an interstellar comet in 2019. Then dozens more observations were made from observatories around the world.
NASA’s impact risk assessment system quickly concluded that the asteroid would not hit Earth.
“Despite the very small number of observations, the system was able to predict that the asteroid would pass very close to Earth,” said NASA researcher David Farnocchia, who helped develop the system.
“In fact, this is one of the closest times an object has ever come close to Earth,” he added.
Even if it had collided with the Earth, the asteroid, with a diameter of 3.5 meters to 8.5 meters, would have largely disintegrated in the Earth’s atmosphere, which would have resulted in a few small meteorites.
NASA officials said Earth’s gravity would change the asteroid’s orbit around the sun. The asteroid took 359 days to complete its orbit around the sun, but after this great approach to Earth, it will take 425 days to complete its orbit.