Asteroid 2024 CL3 to pass Earth at a breakneck 15011 kmph, says NASA; Know how big it is

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NASA says that the orbits of asteroids can be changed by Jupiter’s massive gravity and by occasional close encounters with planets like Mars or other objects. These accidental encounters can knock asteroids out of the main belt and hurl them into space in all directions across the orbits of the other planets. One such occurrence is set to take place today, February 23, as one asteroid is expected to pass by Earth. Know the details of this close encounter.

Asteroid 2024 CL3: Details

An asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2024 CL3, is on its way towards Earth and could pass Earth at a very close distance today, February 23. It is one of the two asteroids that are expected to pass by the planet, with the other one being Asteroid 2024 BY15. It is important to note that while both of these asteroids will come very close to Earth, none of them are expected to impact the surface.

NASA revealed these details after tracking the asteroid’s orbit using its various satellites and space and ground-based telescopes such as NEOWISE, Catalina Sky Survey, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), Pans-STARRS1, and more. As per the details, Asteroid 2024 CL3 is expected to pass Earth by a distance of 3.5 million kilometers. In terms of size, Asteroid 2024 CL3 is nearly 61 feet wide, making it almost as big as a house.

According to NASA, it belongs to the Aten group of asteroids, which are Earth-crossing Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) with semi-major axes smaller than Earth’s. They are named after the asteroid 2062 Aten and the first of its kind was discovered by American astronomer Eleanor Helin at Palomar Observatory on January 7, 1976.

It is already moving in its orbit at a breakneck speed of about 15011 kilometers per hour, the US Space Agency has revealed.

Previous approaches

Asteroid 2024 CL3 has passed Earth before. It first flew past the planet on November 28, 1900, at a distance of almost 66 million kilometers. NASA says that after today, this asteroid will come close again on November 23, 2031, and it will pass the planet by a distance of 53 million kilometers.

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