The impact is estimated to occur on Saturday, January 28, and the scientific community is concerned.
A few days ago, it was discovered that the asteroid 2023 BU is heading towards Earth at high speeds. It is estimated to travel at approximately 53 thousand kilometres per hour and will pass at a distance of about 10,500 kilometres from Earth. This is a very small distance as it constitutes just under 3% of the distance between our planet and the Moon, which is 384,400 km.
According to these data, 2023 BU would be the fourth space rock closest to the Earth’s surface. This is among the 35,000 meteors and asteroids that have passed since 1900 and are yet to come to Earth until 2200, according to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).
CNEOS also reported that the space rock is only 38 meters long and 85 meters wide, so it only poses a small threat. Any asteroid or meteor less than 25 meters across is not a concern to NASA as it has a high probability of burning up upon entering Earth’s atmosphere.
However, 2023 BU does cause some concern among astronomers because of its proximity and size. However, various space agencies indicated no danger of collision with the Earth’s surface. Based on its trajectory, the asteroid will only enter the atmosphere. Specifically, it will enter the exosphere, the outermost layer, 10,500 kilometres from our surface.
But thanks to its proximity, the asteroid can be seen in various parts of the world.
Last January 21, the engineer and amateur astronomer Gennadiy Borisov discovered the asteroid at the Margo observatory in Nauchnij, Crimea. 2023 BU will enter the orbit of the geostationary satellites of South America and can be seen from Thursday, January 26.
Of course, you need a telescope to see the asteroid, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry. The Virtual Telescope website will broadcast the asteroid’s trajectory live at 4:15 p.m., Argentina time. Here you can see its passage from the Ceccano observatory in Italy.