Asteroid 2024 FQ3 belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), says NASA. (Pixabay)Space 

NASA reveals asteroid will pass within 721,000 km of Earth today; Learn about its size

On April 1, a celestial visitor in the form of an asteroid is expected to pass by Earth. NASA has used its advanced telescopes to track the asteroid’s orbit and predict that it will come close to our planet on the first day of April.

Asteroid 2024 FQ3

NASA says Asteroid 2024 FQ3 is just one of millions of asteroids orbiting the Sun. These space rocks are mostly in the main asteroid belt, which lies between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, or CNEOS, is responsible for keeping an eye on similar celestial objects, and has revealed that asteroid 2024 FQ3 is passing Earth today at a distance of 721,000 kilometers. That’s less than twice the distance from the Earth to the Moon!

It orbits the Sun at a menacing speed of about 69,357 kilometers per hour. This is much faster than even the space shuttle! It belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, which are space rocks that pass through the Earth and whose semi-major axes are larger than the Earth’s axis. These asteroids are named after the huge 1862 Apollo asteroid discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.

How big is it?

The asteroid is only 38 feet wide and can be compared to a bus. Although it is not expected to hit the Earth’s surface, NASA has still declared it a Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) because of its proximity to the planet.

How does NASA track asteroids?

NASA says that as soon as its telescopes track the new NEA, astronomers will observe the asteroid’s observed locations in the sky and report back to the Minor Planet Center. Then the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) determines its most likely orbit around the Sun by studying the data.

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