Last Saturday night, a massive asteroid passed between Earth and the Moon, providing an incredible sight. The asteroid, named 2023 DZ2, was discovered only a month before and was between 40 and 90 meters wide, almost as big as a football pitch!
The European Space Agency and Nasa confirmed that the asteroid came within 320,000 miles of the Moon before zooming past Earth a few hours later. It was a rare opportunity to observe such a huge asteroid so close to our planet, but there was no chance of it hitting Earth.
Asteroids are large rocks that float through space and orbit the Sun, much smaller than planets, and can vary in size. Most asteroids are in the main asteroid belt that floats between Mars and Jupiter in our solar system. Scientists say this was a great opportunity for astronomers to increase their knowledge of asteroids as the space rock traveled so close to us.
The Virtual Telescope Project’s website had a live web stream of the asteroid’s journey, allowing people all around the world to experience the excitement. Even though the object looks set to return towards Earth in 2026, the scientists assure us that we won’t be in any danger then either!