Asteroid the size of 28 sheep to be rammed past Earth – NASA

An asteroid the size of nearly 28 domesticated sheep will pass Earth on Sunday, June 4, according to NASA’s asteroid tracker.

According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the asteroid in question has been dubbed 2023 HO18, meaning it was discovered this year.

The flyby will be closer than normal, giving the asteroid a rarity rating of one, but there is no danger of hitting Earth, nor will the other two asteroids pass on June 4th. .

Baaaad news? How big is the asteroid coming towards Earth in 2023?

NASA estimates asteroid 2023 HO18 to be as much as 50 meters in diameter. In imperial measurements for American readers, that would be 164 feet or just under 55 yards.

But to use a more creative metric, consider the humble domesticated sheep (Ovis aries). These animals are spread all over the world and although there are a large number of breeds, they are still all part of the same species.

A lamb, a little sheep (illustrative). (credit: PIXABAY)

According to the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web, domestic sheep can, on average, grow up to 6 feet in head and body length. This means that the diameter of asteroid 2023 HO18 is as long as a row of about 28 tame sheep, probably raised by a greedy corgi or German shepherd.

Safe sheep? What other asteroids will pass soon?

A total of three asteroids, including asteroid 2023 HO18, will pass close to Earth on June 4.

Here are the other two asteroids, along with their special measurements.

Asteroid 2023 JE5 has an estimated diameter of 59 meters. Meaning it’s the size of the Goodyear blimp.

Asteroid 2023 JR 2 has an estimated diameter of 63 meters. That means it’s about the size of 31 average Yamaha motorcycles.

Ramming Velocity: Will an Asteroid Hit Earth in 2023?

Will an asteroid hit the Earth in 2023? YES. Will it be asteroid 2023 HO18 or any of the others that will pass today? NO.

Rather, an asteroid has already hit Earth earlier this year, most notably in February, when asteroid 2023 CX1, the size of two Super Bowl trophies, struck near Normandy in France.

Aside from that, several smaller objects, meteors, have also already hit the Earth. One also happened in Israel, exploding in the country’s northeast in April. Several months earlier, a meteor the size of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi struck Texas.

None of these caused any damage, because these small meteor and asteroid impacts, when they do happen, usually cause no damage other than a massive explosion.

But at 50 meters in diameter, asteroid 2023 HO18 is large enough to potentially cause some damage, though nothing of apocalyptic proportions.

That’s fortunate, considering how close 2023 HO18 is. According to NASA, it should pass just over 466,000 kilometers from Earth. It is closer than normal, but no closer than the Moon, which orbits the Earth at an average distance of 384,000 kilometers. However, it is closer than NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which orbits 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.

Pure danger: can we stop an asteroid impact?

The field of planetary defense has been developing in recent years so that scientists at NASA and other institutions around the world can find ways to protect the Earth from asteroid impacts.

While numerous initiatives have been discussed, the one with the most support is NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which was successfully tested by crashing into the distant asteroid Dimorphous, thus altering its orbit.

So humanity is not in danger of being killed by asteroids any time soon. Now you can sleep peacefully while counting sheep.

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