Washington [US], January 27: A van-sized asteroid is due to sweep past Earth in the coming hours, making one of the closest approaches to the planet ever recorded, US space agency NASA said.
The celestial body named 2023 BU will reach the closest point to Earth at 0027 GMT Friday when it rushes past the southern tip of South America at an altitude of just 3,600 kilometres. NASA scientists assure there is no risk of an impact.
By comparison, geostationary satellites are about 35,000 kilometres above the Earth's surface, and the International Space Station is about 400 kilometres away. But even if 2023 BU headed directly for Earth, it would largely burn up as a fireball when it entered the atmosphere, given its comparatively small diameter of 3.5 to 8.5 metres, NASA said. (dpa)
Source: Qatar Tribune