Relax, asteroid 2006 QQ23 won't hit us, but it will perform a flyby on 10 August

QQ23 is a near-earth asteroid with a diameter of 568 metres and will pass within 7.5 mn km of the planet.

Don’t panic, we are not getting hit by an asteroid yet.

However, a study of the data shows that the asteroid is only going to perform a flyby on 10 August. It will do this at a distance of 0.04977 AU (astronomical units) that is equal to 7.45 mn km (the moon is 384,400 km away).

But it is "more or less benign," Lindley Johnson and Kelly Fast told CNNThey track near-Earth objects with NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office.

NASA’s Planetary Defence Coordination says that small asteroids that range within a few meters in size are detected passing between the Earth and the Moon’s orbit several times a month. Small particles of asteroids and comets come in contact with the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up almost every day. These are the bright meteor events that people see at night, But sometimes these objects impact Earth leaving behind craters.

Relax, asteroid 2006 QQ23 wont hit us, but it will perform a flyby on 10 August

Representational image

The asteroid is categorized under Atens which means that it is a near-earth asteroid with a semi-major axes that is smaller than Earth's. It has a diameter of 568 meter, which is taller than many skyscrapers. It is much bigger than the Chelyabinsk meteor that entered Russian airspace in 2013 and blew up in the atmosphere with a force of a small nuclear bomb.

QQ23 was first was observed on 21 August 2006.

Near-Earth objects (NEOs) can occasionally have close encounters with Earth. A "close" passage in astronomical terms can be extremely far away in human terms: millions, even tens of millions of kilometres away. However, around 30 new near-asteroids are recorded and examined by NASA in its Near-Earth object database, maintained by the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The software predicted close approaches to Earth for all known NEOs, in both the past and the future, and tabulates the close approach data organized by time.

Over 19,000 near-earth asteroids have been mapped and studied by the Centre as of 2019, according to a report. NASA characterizes these asteroids using optical and radio telescopes to find out their size, shape, rotation, composition and trajectory.

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