2 ‘Potentially Hazardous’ Asteroids Will Streak By Earth This Week, One As Big As A Mountain. You Can Watch It Live.

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This week, astronomers and space enthusiasts are in for a thrilling treat as not one, but two “potentially hazardous” asteroids are set to make a close approach to Earth. One of these asteroids is a massive mountain-sized rock that will provide a rare opportunity for scientists and the public to observe it up close.

The first asteroid, known as 2023 DW, is expected to make its closest approach to Earth on March 18. With a diameter of approximately 1,400 feet (427 meters), this asteroid is classified as a “potentially hazardous” asteroid (PHA) due to its size and proximity to our planet. While it’s not expected to collide with Earth, its close approach will provide scientists with a unique opportunity to study its composition and orbit.

The second asteroid, 2005 ED224, is even more massive, with a diameter of around 3,450 feet (1,052 meters), making it roughly the size of a small mountain. This asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth on March 21. Like 2023 DW, 2005 ED224 is also classified as a PHA, and its close approach will allow scientists to gather valuable data about its size, shape, and orbital path.

What makes these asteroids “potentially hazardous”? According to NASA, an asteroid is considered a PHA if it has a minimum orbital intersection distance with Earth of less than 0.05 astronomical units (AU) and a diameter of at least 140 meters (460 feet). This means that these asteroids have the potential to make a close approach to Earth and, in the worst-case scenario, could collide with our planet.

Fortunately, neither of these asteroids is expected to collide with Earth during their close approaches this week. However, their proximity to our planet will provide scientists with a rare opportunity to study them up close and gather valuable data that can help us better understand the risks and consequences of asteroid impacts.

For those interested in watching these asteroids make their close approaches, there are several ways to do so. The Virtual Telescope Project, a online observatory that allows people to observe celestial events in real-time, will be live-streaming the asteroids’ approaches on their website. Additionally, several astronomy apps and websites, such as Sky & Telescope and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will also be providing live updates and images of the asteroids as they streak by Earth.

This week’s asteroid close approaches serve as a reminder of the importance of monitoring and tracking near-Earth objects (NEOs) like asteroids and comets. By studying these objects, scientists can better understand the risks and consequences of asteroid impacts and develop strategies for preventing or mitigating the effects of a potential collision.

So mark your calendars and get ready to witness a rare and thrilling celestial event. This week, two massive asteroids will streak by Earth, providing scientists and the public with a unique opportunity to observe and learn from these ancient rocks from space.

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