NASA Warns of Potentially Hazardous Asteroid's Close Approach to Earth Today

By Consultants Review Team Monday, 08 January 2024

NASA has alerted the public to the close approach of a massive asteroid designated as Asteroid 2002 AY1. Classified as a "Potentially Hazardous Object," this celestial body is set to pass close to Earth on January 8, marking a significant event in the realm of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs).

Detected by NASA's Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), responsible for monitoring NEOs, Asteroid 2002 AY1 is part of the Aten group, which consists of Earth-crossing NEOs. Despite its potentially hazardous classification, the asteroid, measuring about 720 feet wide, is not expected to impact Earth during its close approach.

The close encounter is anticipated to occur at a speed of approximately 62,421 kilometers per hour, with the asteroid passing by Earth at a distance of roughly 5.8 million kilometers. Although considerable in terms of astronomical measurements, the distance ensures the safety of our planet from any impact.

Asteroid 2002 AY1 has a history of close approaches, having previously passed Earth on January 2, 1901, at a distance of 32 million kilometers. Following the upcoming encounter, it is projected to approach Earth again on December 25, 2025, at a distance of 50 million kilometers.

While NASA maintains a vigilant eye on such celestial bodies with advanced monitoring technology, the agency reassures that the current event poses no threat of impact. The term "Potentially Hazardous" is applied based on its proximity to Earth, serving as a classification rather than a prediction of imminent danger.

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