Asteroid 2013 BO76 LIVE – Nasa says ‘close approach’ of giant space rock at 30,000mph due to happen TODAY

AN enormous space rock will zip past Earth today.

Asteroid 2013 BO76 will hurtle past on Thursday at a staggering 30,000 miles per hour, according to Nasa trackers.

At up to 450 meters across, it’s roughly the same size as the Empire State Building.

Fortunately, the speedy object is expected to miss our planet by some distance.

It’ll fly by at a safe distance of around 3.1million miles, according to data on Nasa’s Near-Earth Object database.

That’s or 13 times the gap between Earth and the Moon – a near-miss in space terms.

Read our asteroid ‘close approach’ live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • When did Asteroid 2013 BO76 first appear?

    As its name suggests, the asteroid previously came closest to Earth in 2013, Tech HindustanTimes reports.

    It flew past our planet from a distance of about 78million kilometers.

    This year, it is flying past Earth 15 times closer.

  • How do asteroids get their names?

    Apparently, The International Astronomical Union’s Committee on Small Body Nomenclature does not have strict rules when it comes to naming asteroids, NASA said.

    Asteroids are oftentimes named after places, and some even have more entertaining titles such as Mr. Spock, the asteroid that was named after a someone’s pet cat.

    However, all asteroids are additionally assigned a number to keep track of all those discovered.

  • NEO’s tracked

    The asteroid has been added to Nasa’s list of upcoming “Close Approaches” even though it poses no danger to our planet.

    Thousands of near-Earth objects (NEOs) are tracked to provide an early warning if they somehow shift onto a collision course with our planet.

  • The probability of a collision

    In a statement about the probability of collisions with Earth, Nasa wrote that it, “knows of no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth, so the probability of a major collision is quite small.”

    “In fact, as best as we can tell, no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years.”

  • How big is the asteroid?

    The asteroid is up to 450 meters across.

    That’s roughly the same size as the Empire State Building.

  • How fast is the asteroid?

    The asteroid 2013 BO76 will hurtle past on Thursday at a staggering 30,000 miles per hour (50,000 kph), according to Nasa trackers.

  • How to see asteroid 2013 BO76

    Asteroid 2013 BO76 can be seen orbiting past Earth at NASA’S Small-Body Database Lookup.

  • How many asteroids are in the asteroid belt?

    The majority of asteroids orbit within the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

    NASA said the belt is estimated to contain between 1.1 and 1.9million asteroids larger than one kilometer in diameter.

    There are also millions more smaller asteroids in the belt.

  • How big are asteroids?

    The largest asteroid ever discovered was Vesta which is about 329 miles or 530 kilometers in diameter, NASA reported.

    Asteroids can also be as small as 33 feet across.

    The total mass of all the asteroids combined is less than that of Earth’s Moon.

  • What is an asteroid?

    Asteroids are rocky remains from the early formation of our solar system which took place about 4.6billion years ago, according to NASA.

    They are also sometimes called minor planets.

    Asteroids are usually found orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter within the main asteroid belt.

  • Ready for a close-up

    Asteroid 2013 BO76 was first photographed by the Virtual Telescope Project on March 7, according to Science Times.

    The asteroid was about 15 million miles away from Earth at that point, according to the Daily Star.

  • NEO mission

    Nasa is hoping to launch its Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor mission in 2026.

    If the agency does so, it will finally have a spacecraft dedicated only to hunting asteroids.

    The hope is that the NEO Surveyor craft will find 90 percent of asteroids that are 460 feet or larger within the first decade of its mission.

  • What is a NEO?

    Nasa considers anything passing near Earth’s orbit a Near-Earth Object (NEO).

    Thousands of NEOs are tracked by scientists to monitor whether they’re on a collision course with our planet.

  • Nasa monitors thousands of asteroids

    Nasa has its eye on nearly 28,000 known near-Earth asteroids, and discoveries of new asteroids are said to go up by their thousands each year.

    On that note, Nasa is hoping to launch its Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor mission in 2026.

  • St Patrick’s Day asteroids, continued

    A 78 foot asteroid called 2022 EU3 was the last close approach asteroid to shoot past Earth on St Patrick’s Day.

    Asteroid 2022 EU3 came within 3.4 million miles of Earth.

    The other two asteroids to make the St Paddy’s Day list were called 2022 EM6 and 2022 EU6.

    They’re said to be about 200 feet and 183 feet large, respectively.

  • St Patrick’s Day asteroids

    Before Asteroid 2013 BO76, Nasa was watching five close approach asteroids around St Patrick’s Day.

    All of the asteroids made their close approaches to Earth that morning.

    Asteroid 2019 PH1 was the largest at 203 feet wide.

    The closest approach came from a slightly smaller space rock called 2022 EL6.

  • Several objects making ‘close approaches’

    There are seven different space objects expected to make what Nasa calls “close approaches” this week, with this asteroid being one of them.

    Thankfully, none of the asteroids being tracked by the space agency are thought to pose any real danger to us.

  • When is the next threatening asteroid passing Earth?

    The next near-Earth object threat will be in March 2023, when Asteroid 2005 ED224 will come closest to the planet.

    Traveling at a speed of 61,000mph, the 164-foot asteroid has a 1 in 500,000 probability of actually hitting the Earth.

  • Recent asteroid destruction

    More recently, a 164-foot asteroid crashed in Siberia in 1908.

    It destroyed nearly 80million trees across 830 square miles.

    Plus, in 2013, an asteroid measuring 65 feet exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia and injured more than 1,100 people, and caused $33million in damage.

  • Most notable asteroid impact

    The most notable of all asteroids that hit Earth was 6-miles in diameter and collided with what is now the Yucatán Peninsula 65 million years ago.

    That asteroid wiped out most of the Earth’s plant and animal species, including the dinosaurs.

  • What makes it a NEO?

    In order for an asteroid to be considered as a near-Earth object, or NEO, threat by Nasa, it has to come within 4.6million miles of Earth and have a diameter of 460 feet.

    This asteroid is estimated to be between 600 and 1500 feet big.

  • When was the asteroid discovered?

    The asteroid was first spotted by Nasa several years ago.

    Nasa first discovered the asteroid on January 17, 2013, when it was 15million miles away from the Earth’s atmosphere.

  • How fast is the asteroid?

    The asteroid 2013 BO76 will hurtle past on Thursday at a staggering 30,000 miles per hour (50,000 kph), according to Nasa trackers.

  • How far away will the asteroid be?

    The asteroid will fly by at a safe distance of around 3.1million miles, according to data on Nasa’s Near-Earth Object database.

  • London Eye-sized

    Science Times noted that the asteroid passing Earth on Thursday “is approximately three times larger than the London Eye.”

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