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Recently discovered asteroid is passing very close to Earth Thursday

Posted at 2:28 PM, Jan 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-26 14:28:54-05


A small asteroid is going to have a very close encounter with Earth on Thursday.

In fact, NASA says it is one of the closest approaches by a known near-Earth object ever recorded!


Designated as 2023 BU, the asteroid was only discovered last Saturday on Jan. 21 by amateur astronomer Gennadiy Borisov. Within a few days, a number of observatories around the world had made dozens of observations, helping astronomers better refine 2023 BU’s orbit.

2023 BU is about the size of a box truck and will zoom over the southern tip of South America around 7:27 p.m. EST at only 2,200 miles above the planet’s surface. That is well within the orbit of geosynchronous satellites!

There is no risk of the asteroid impacting Earth. But even if it did, this small asteroid – estimated to be 11.5 to 28 feet (3.5 to 8.5 meters) across – would turn into a fireball and largely disintegrate harmlessly in the atmosphere, with some of the bigger debris potentially falling as small meteorites.

For more information about other near-Earth objects, click here.