For all the space enthusiasts out there, there is a possibility that you can encounter an asteroid passing near the Earth. According to Mount Lemmon Observatory, Arizona, an asteroid named 2018 DV1 is expected to fly by Earth at 5:30 a.m. UTC or 12:30 a.m. EST on March 2, Friday. The asteroid is 23ft across similar to the size of a school bus. The data shows that it will zoom past the Earth at a distance of just 113,000 km or 70,000 miles. It is the sixth close encounter of Earth to an asteroid in 2018 alone. It will pass at a distance less than the lunar distance between Earth and the Moon.
Soon after asteroid DU2018 passed close to the Earth at a distance of 175,000 miles a few days ago, astronomers came across asteroid 2018 DV1 on Monday at Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona which will pass at a distance of 70,000 miles which less than the lunar distance of 238,900 miles. Researchers have counted a total of 18 asteroids that passed near the Earth this year. Assuming that it is 23ft or 12m long, the asteroid is not a matter of concern due to its small size, if however, it plummets to the Earth, its impact will be around the same of what 2013 Chelyabinsk asteroid did.
Asteroid 2018 DV1 is classified as ‘Aten’ which is a type given to asteroids based on their orbit relative to the Earth. Moreover, NASA has also categorized 2018 DV1 as a ‘potentially dangerous’ object but there is no imminent threat to human civilization since this asteroid will zoom past the Earth without causing any damage. NASA classifies any object which is 492ft wide and propagates in an orbit within the distance of 4.6 million miles from Earth as ‘near-Earth’ asteroids or NEA and there are over 17,774 NEA. As per researchers, they use magnitude, brightness, and other parameters to calculate the impact of an asteroid near the Earth. This is what NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) did to evaluate the incoming asteroid and found out that it has low magnitude. This translates into the fact that it won’t cause any harm on Earth and even if it plummets, it will surely burn and disintegrate while entering the Earth’s Atmosphere.
During the study, researchers traced that the incoming asteroid 2018 DV1 has passed near the Earth several times in the past. In fact, it will make its next journey close to the Earth on February 26, 2019, but with a larger distance compared to the current situation. Virtual Telescope Project will transmit a live feed of the asteroid on its website.
Live Feed At — Virtual Telescope Project