Written by Mahmoud Ragheb
Saturday, March 25, 2023 12:27 PM
Today, Saturday, March 25, 2023, observers around the world are preparing for the approach of a newly discovered asteroid, which will pass safely near Earth, at a distance of about half the distance between our planet and the Moon, at about (07:51 pm GMT).
And the Astronomical Society in Jeddah revealed, in a report, that the asteroid was discovered in late February 2023 at the La Palma Observatory, in the Canary Islands, Spain. It was named (2023 DZ2), and it is part of the Apollo asteroid family and is classified as a near-Earth object, and it orbits the sun every 3.16. year.
He continued: The Apollo asteroids, which are a group of space rocks whose orbits intersect with Earth’s orbit, and it is the most numerous group of near-Earth objects with more than 10,000 recorded asteroids.
Current estimates indicate that its diameter is about (64 or 52 meters). For comparison, the asteroid that penetrated the atmosphere over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, in February 2013, had a diameter of only about 20 meters.
For a while this new asteroid had a small chance of colliding with Earth on March 27, 2026, but after further observations and new data it was removed from the Sentry Danger table as of March 21, 2023.
Due to the relatively close distance from which the asteroid will pass, observers can see the asteroid with telescopes six inches in diameter and larger, and the asteroid moves at a speed of 28,008 kilometers per hour relative to Earth. While it appears to be a huge speed, it is a relatively slow asteroid unlike other asteroids that astronomers study.
And the report continued: And since the asteroid will pass at a distance equivalent to half the distance between the Earth and the Moon, this small distance will make it appear as a “slow-moving star” in the field of a small telescope, and its movement can be detected in real time.
The report emphasized that one of the best techniques used by sky enthusiasts to see an asteroid is to point the telescope towards a known star in the asteroid’s path. Then they just wait for the asteroid to appear, and fortunately many small telescopes now include a computerized Go-To hand control, so the telescope can be pointed at a reference star to get a look at the asteroid as it passes.