Don’t be alarmed, but as you read this, an asteroid roughly the size of a house is about to zoom past Earth.
Depending on your location, the newly found asteroid 2023 EY will pass by our planet late Thursday night or Friday morning at a distance of just 240,000 kilometers (149,000 miles) – a little less than two-thirds the distance of the Moon.
That may sound uncomfortably close, but space is big. A speck like 2023 EY poses no threat to any of us.
At just 16 meters (52 feet) in diameter, it’s roughly the same size as the Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Siberia in 2013 and caused a range of injuries with its shock wave. Fortunately 2023 EY won’t even enter our atmosphere.
Still, its proximity poses a cool opportunity. Although the asteroid isn’t bright enough for us to see with the naked eye, it is going to be visible through telescopes.
The Virtual Telescope Project will be live streaming the flyby, starting at 00:00 UTC, Friday March 17. That’s 20:00 EDT, Thursday March 16, and 11:00 AEDT, Friday March 17.
The footage will be captured by a 17-inch robotic telescope in Ceccano, central Italy, and the closest approach is predicted to occur at 00:35 UTC, Friday March 17. You can watch below.