Asteroid to pass Earth even closer than some telecom satellites
Asteroid-2018-CB, NASA

An asteroid will have one of the closest encounters Earth ever recorded.

The space rock known as 2023 BU is expected to pass about 2,200 miles over the southern tip of South America at 7:27 p.m. EST on Friday, and was only detected last weekend by Crimean amateur astronomer Gennadiy Borisov, reported BBC.

"Before encountering Earth, the asteroid's orbit around the Sun was roughly circular, approximating Earth's orbit, taking 359 days to complete its orbit about the Sun," NASA said in a statement. "After its encounter, the asteroid's orbit will be more elongated, moving it out to about halfway between Earth's and Mars' orbits at its farthest point from the sun. The asteroid will then complete one orbit every 425 days."

The asteroid will pass through the arc occupied by the world's telecommunications satellites, which orbit 22,000 miles above Earth, but the chances of it hitting one are believed to be remote.

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The rock is about 11.5 feet to 28 feet across and would likely disintegrate high in the atmosphere, producing a spectacular fireball, if it was on a direct path toward the earth.

By comparison, the Chelyabinsk meteor that entered Earth's atmosphere over southern Russia in 2013 was about 66 feet across and produced a shockwave that shattered windows, and the massive asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was more than 7 miles across.