Asteroid 2023 NT1 passed between the Earth and the Moon on July 13, at a distance equivalent to a quarter of that which separates our planet and our satellite.
In incognito mode. An asteroid called 2023 NT1, measuring nearly sixty meters in diameter, passed some 100,000 kilometers from Earth on Thursday July 13, reports the American media Forbes.
A distance equivalent to a quarter of that which separates our planet and the Moon underlines on Twitter the astronomer Tony Dunn, relayed by our colleagues from TF1. But 2023 NT1 wasn’t discovered until July 15, 48 hours after it “grazed” Earth.
Hidden by the Sun
Blame it on the trajectory of the racing car (11,000 kilometers per second), which approached our planet with the Sun behind it. “Hidden in the glare of our Sun are an unknown number of asteroids that are on trajectories that we cannot follow,” recalls the European Space Agency.
ESA has also set up a mission (NEOMIR) to detect by 2030 these “invisible” asteroids whose size is 20 meters in diameter or more. Because if NASA and the various space agencies regularly detect dozens of asteroids and celestial objects, it happens that some of them go by the wayside. This was the case in 2013, in Chelyabinsk, Russia. A meteorite hit the Urals, injuring nearly a thousand people. “No one saw it coming,” says ESA.
No worries though. Every two weeks on average, an asteroid one meter in diameter hits the Earth. Without causing damage, because they disintegrate in the atmosphere.
The Chelyabinsk asteroid had a diameter of 20 meters. “Statistically, asteroids of this size hit Earth once every 50/100 years,” explains the European Space Agency. “Larger asteroids are much less common but, ask the dinosaurs, they do a lot more damage. Fortunately, they are much easier to detect,” concludes the ESA.
Source: BFM TV