An asteroid named 2023 HJ2 is set to make a dangerously close approach to Earth today, June 10, 2023. The asteroid is estimated to be about 110 feet in diameter and will fly past Earth at just 1.31 million miles. This is about twice the distance between Earth and the Moon.
2023 HJ2 was discovered by astronomers at the Mount Lemmon Sky Center in Arizona on May 26, 2023. It is classified as an Apollo asteroid, which means that it has an orbit that takes it between Earth and the Sun.
According to NASA, there is no possibility that 2023 HJ2 will impact Earth. However, the close approach of the asteroid serves as a reminder of the potential dangers presented by asteroids.
In 2013, a roughly refrigerator-sized asteroid entered the Earth’s atmosphere and detonated over Chelyabinsk, Russia. The explosion injured over a thousand persons and destroyed thousands of structures.
NASA is developing a variety of technologies to deflect asteroids that threaten Earth. One of these technologies is the kinetic impactor, which employs a spacecraft to collide with an asteroid and deflect it. A gravity tractor would utilize the gravitational pull of a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid from its path steadily.
NASA is also developing a system of early warning satellites to detect potentially hazardous asteroids years in advance. This would give scientists sufficient time to devise and implement a plan to deflect the asteroid.
The close approach of asteroid 2023 HJ2 highlights the significance of asteroid detection and deflection. NASA is developing various technologies to defend Earth from asteroids, but additional development is required.