Five different “Near Earth Objects” (NEOs) are heading our way Valentine’s Day, according to NASA.
NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) is tracking five different asteroids heading toward Earth on Valentine’s Day 2023. A majority of the rocks will pass us by more than a million miles, but two are expected to fly as close as 260,000 and 700,000 miles — which might sound like a lot, but it’s really not when you put it into the context of our cosmos.
Earth Has A Blind Spot In Our Planetary Threat Detection System https://t.co/7N55ChglDg
— Dr. Jake Baker (@DrJakeBaker) January 30, 2023
NASA’s CNEOS classifies NEOs as asteroids and comets orbiting within 120 million miles of our sun. It’s believed that anything flying within this range of our closest star also has the potential to circulate through our “orbital neighborhood” here on Earth. “Potentially hazardous asteroids” are determined by their size (around 140 meters), with orbits that bring the rocks within 4.6 million miles or closer.
All of the asteroids heading in our direction Feb. 14 are within the potentially hazardous range, with the furthest asteroid having a minimum possible approach of 4.1 million miles. (RELATED: NASA Successfully Alters Orbit Of Massive Asteroid)
One of the asteroids whizzing past us Feb. 14, listed as 2023 CH2 on NASA’s site, almost appears to be on a collision course with our moon. But it looks like it’ll narrowly avoid blowing it out of the sky when assessing the close-approach viewer mock-up of the trajectory, at least for now.