An asteroid capable of destroying a few city blocks will pass by Earth this week. The asteroid in question is Asteroid 2023 FM, which astronomers discovered last month. Much like another recently discovered asteroid, NASA and astronomers are working on completely sorting out 2023 FM’s trajectory.
This particular asteroid will pass close to the Earth on April 6. It is estimated to travel at roughly 15.8 km/s and will breeze past Earth almost 3 million kilometers from the planet. This isn’t anywhere close, which means we won’t have to worry about the asteroid impacting our world in any way.
If you are curious, an asteroid the estimated size of 2023 FM could create a crater over 1,600 feet wide, according to Asteroid Launcher, a website that lets you see how much damage an asteroid could do when impacting Earth. Of course, the exact specifics of the asteroid’s flight and makeup affect this significantly.
While Asteroid 2023 FM won’t impact our planet, other asteroids like the recently discovered 2023 DW are estimated to hit our planet. Thankfully, the estimated date of impact isn’t for another 20-plus years. The possibility that asteroids could collide with Earth has spurred NASA and others to create asteroid defense systems.
These systems include spacecraft like NASA’s DART, which collided with a small asteroid last year, effectively changing its orbit and creating a tail of debris as it floats through space. Other space agencies also want to create asteroid monitoring systems to keep track of these celestial rocks.
Asteroid 2023 FM isn’t the only asteroid passing Earth this week, either. Other, smaller asteroids will also pass our planet, though none will pose any threat of impact. And, as far as we know, there are no planet killer asteroids with any trajectories that bring them toward Earth.
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