Calculations of the trajectory suggest that 2023 BU will fly 3,500 kilometers above the southern tip of South America at about 4:27 p.m. PST (7:27 p.m. EST).
As revealed by NASA, an asteroid that was discovered only recently is set to make one of the closes approaches to Earth ever recorded. The asteroid, dubbed 2023 BU, measures between 4 and 8 meters in diameter and is set to pass within the orbit of geosynchronous satellites at an approximate distance of 3,500 kilometers from the surface of our planet. As revealed by ANSA, there is no danger of the object impacting the Earth. However, even if, for some reason, the asteroid deviates and enters the atmosphere, scientists predict it to burn up before racing the ground, although smaller meteorites could make contact. Nonetheless, these would be harmless.
Discovery of 2023 BU
A small asteroid is predicted to make one of the closest approaches by a near-Earth object ever recorded on Thursday, Jan. 26. Though it will pass within the orbit of geosynchronous satellites, there is no risk of the asteroid impacting Earth.
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) January 26, 2023
The asteroid was discovered by amateur astronomer Gennadiy Borisov, discoverer of the interstellar comet 2I/Borisov, from his MARGO observatory in Nauchnyi, Crimea, on Saturday, January 21. Additional observations were reported to the Minor Planet Center (MPC), and the data were automatically published on the Near-Earth Object Confirmation page. Once enough observations were collected, the MPC announced the discovery.
What the data says
In three days, dozens of observations had been made by various observatories around the world, helping astronomers to pinpoint the orbit of 2023 BU better. Despite the fact that follow-up observations and data gathered by astronomers days following the discovery suggest the object is no danger to our planet, astronomers say that this is one of the closest approaches of a known near-Earth object ever recorded. Calculation of the trajectory suggest that 2023 BU will fly 3,500 kilometers above the southernmost tip of South America, approximately at 4:27 p.m. PST (7:27 p.m. EST).