Asteroid 2023 EY to sweep closer than moon tonight
Near-Earth asteroid 2023 EY
The newly discovered near-Earth asteroid 2023 EY will sweep closely, but safely, past Earth on March 16-17, 2023. At its closest, it’ll be within about 149,000 miles (about 239,000 km) of Earth. That’s about 62% of the moon’s average distance. According to NASA, the asteroid will reach its minimum distance from us at 11:35 UTC (7 a.m. ET) on March 17, 2023.
The Virtual Telescope Project – based in Rome, Italy – will show the asteroid to you live. Remember that the word asteroid means starlike. Through telescopes, asteroids look like moving stars. The Virtual Telescope livestream will begin at 12 a.m. UTC tonight (morning of March 17). That is 8 p.m. ET tonight (evening March 16, for us in North America). To join Virtual Telescope’s live viewing, you can enter, at the date and time above, here.
The asteroid is estimated to be in the 13-to-29-meter range (about 43 feet to 95 feet) in diameter. That puts it in a size range similar to the Chelyabinsk meteor, which was approximately 17 to 20 meters in diameter. The Chelyabinsk meteor was seen streaking across the sky on the morning of February 15, 2013. It entered Earth’s atmosphere at high speed and at a shallow angle, creating a shock wave that broke windows in six Russian cities and sent some 1,500 people to seek medical attention, mostly from flying glass.
How astronomers discover near-Earth asteroids
The ATLAS asteroid impact early warning system – developed by the University of Hawaii and funded by NASA – found this asteroid on March 13, 2023. The system consists of four telescopes (two in Hawaii, one in Chile, and one in South Africa), which automatically scan the whole sky several times every night, looking for moving objects.
How many come this close?
This asteroid is one of 14 asteroids, known so far, that will come within 1 lunar-distance of Earth, according to The Watchers.
Bottom line: On March 17, 2023, near-Earth asteroid 2023 EY will sweep closely past Earth, coming within about 62% of the moon’s distance. A Virtual Telescope livestream will begin at 12 a.m. UTC on March 17. That is 8 p.m. ET on March 16, 2023. To join Virtual Telescope’s live viewing of this object, you can enter, at the date and time above, here.