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Post: Large asteroid passes close to Earth on Saturday, but without danger


The European Space Agency announced on Friday that a large asteroid will pass between the Earth and the Moon on Saturday and said that the event, which occurs only once every ten years, does not pose a danger and will serve to teach planetary defense techniques.

The asteroid, called 2023dZ2, is estimated to be between 40 and 70 meters in diameter, enough to destroy a large city if it hits Earth.

The head of the European Space Agency’s Office of Planetary Defense, Richard Moisel, told AFP that the asteroid will pass “very close”, or less than a third, of Earth at 19:49 GMT on Saturday. That the Earth is separated by the Moon, which was comforting at the time. Don’t worry.

The asteroid was first spotted on February 27 by the observatory on La Palma, one of the Canary Islands in Spain.

The asteroid will pass approximately 175,000 km from Earth at a speed of 28,000 km/h.

Smaller asteroids pass close to Earth every day, but such a large body passes close to Earth only once every 10 years, Moesel said.

In this sense, the International Asteroid Warning Network has decided to take advantage of this convergence and therefore several instruments such as spectrometers and radars will be used to analyze “2023 DZ2”.

Moisel noted that this will be an exercise in how the network will deal with this threat in the future.

Astronomers’ calculations show that the asteroid will pass close to Earth again in 2026, but at a greater distance, so it will not pose a danger of collision with it for at least the next hundred years.

Astronomers recently discovered a similarly sized asteroid called “2023 DW”. At the end of February 2046, the chance of this asteroid hitting the Earth was one in 432. However, this chance was reduced with more accurate calculations and the risk became non-existent.

Experts point out that the world is no longer vulnerable to such threats. Last year, NASA’s Dart spacecraft intentionally collided with the asteroid Dimorphos, about 7 million miles from Earth, allowing it to lose its way.

Source: EuroNews

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