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Skyscraper-Sized Asteroid to Pass Earth Today

February 14, 2024
asteroid generic istock

New Delhi:  An asteroid designated as 2024 BR4 is set to make a breathtakingly close pass by Earth this Valentine’s Day. Measuring between 140 and 310 meters in diameter, roughly the size of a skyscraper, this asteroid will approach within 4.6 million kilometres of our planet, less than twelve times the distance to the Moon. 

Discovered just weeks ago by the Catalina Sky Survey on January 30, this fast-moving space rock belongs to the group of asteroids known as Apollos, distinguished by their orbits extending beyond that of Earth, intersecting with our own. A recent 120-second long exposure image captured with a Celestron robotic unit, part of the global Virtual Telescope Project, provided a glimpse of this interplanetary traveler.

At the time of imaging, 2024 BR4 was approximately 12 million kilometres away from Earth and steadily closing in. The impressive details of its journey were captured using the Celestron C14+Paramount ME+SBIG ST8-XME robotic unit, demonstrating the power of international collaborations like the Virtual Telescope Project.

As the asteroid approaches its minimum distance of 4.6 million kilometres, roughly 12 times the average lunar distance today, experts have said that there is no cause for alarm. NASA, with its vigilant tracking of over 33,000 near-Earth objects, has said that the risk of any significant impact on our planet remains minimal for the foreseeable future.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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