An asteroid the size of a football field is set to pass by Earth at a relatively close distance of 107,500 miles on Saturday, providing skywatchers with a once-in-a-decade spectacle, according to experts. The space rock, named 2023 DZ2, will zip past the planet at a speed of about 17,403 mph and is estimated to measure between 140 to 310 feet in diameter. It will pass about halfway between the Earth and the moon’s orbit, marking a relatively safe distance.
The asteroid is scheduled to come closest to Earth at precisely 3:51 p.m. on Saturday, and astronomers expect it to pose no threat to the planet. Despite the space rock’s massive size, experts believe that its distance and trajectory make it unlikely to cause any harm or disturbance.
The discovery of 2023 DZ2 was announced publicly on March 16 after it was detected by the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain, on February 27. Astronomers are looking forward to observing the asteroid’s pass by Earth and gathering data about its composition and trajectory.
Although asteroid flybys are not uncommon, a space rock of this size passing at such a close distance is a rare and exciting event for skywatchers and scientists alike. As always, experts remind the public that there is no need to panic, as the asteroid poses no threat to our planet.