NASA says asteroid will pass Earth on Thursday in 'one of the closest approaches' on record

No danger it will strike planet, scientists say.

Published: January 26, 2023 2:15pm

Updated: January 26, 2023 2:24pm

NASA this week said an asteroid will make one of the closest-ever approaches to Earth on Thursday night, posing no risk to our planet even as it comes within a bracing few thousand miles of its surface. 

Asteroid 2023 BU "is about the size of a box truck and is predicted to make one of the closest approaches by a near-Earth object ever recorded," NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said on Wednesday.

On Thursday evening the "small near-Earth asteroid" will "have a very close encounter with our planet," the JPL said. The object poses "no risk of the asteroid impacting Earth," though NASA noted that even if it did enter the atmosphere it would "turn into a fireball and largely disintegrate harmlessly in the atmosphere, with some of the bigger debris potentially falling as small meteorites."

The object was discovered by amateur astronomer Gennadiy Borisov on Jan. 21; it was quickly ruled out as a planetary threat by NASA's Scout system.

The asteroid's orbit within the Solar Syste is expected to be significantly altered due to its near approach to Earth, NASA said.

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