NASA Warns of Approaching Asteroids and the Importance of Tracking Them

NASA has warned that several asteroids are hurtling towards Earth, with the most recent one, Asteroid 2023 HZ4, expected to pass by the planet closely on May 4.[0] Travelling at a staggering speed of 81,907 kilometres per hour, the asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of just 3.07 million kilometres. Though the asteroid is not expected to make land contact, its rapid speed could make it a concern for Earth should its trajectory change. Similarly, a 290-foot asteroid is rapidly approaching Earth on May 7, though it is also likely to pass by. NASA constantly monitors such asteroids to keep all threats away and tackle them on time, as the deviation from their set orbit could be catastrophic.

NASA's NEO Observations Program is responsible for finding, tracking, and characterising NEOs and identifying those that may pose a hazard to Earth.[1] Ground-based telescopes and the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico obtain comprehensive characterisation data about these asteroids.[2] NASA's NEOWISE telescope is one of the well-known telescopes used to hunt for asteroids that could pose a threat to Earth.[3]

Though most near-Earth objects have orbits that pose no threat to Earth, potentially hazardous asteroids require additional attention.[4] These asteroids are defined by coming within 4.6 million miles of Earth's orbit and measuring greater than 460 feet in diameter. NASA flags such asteroids, and the Planetary Defense Coordination Office issues an alert and raises a red flag for any Near Earth Object (NEO) that comes within 4.6 million miles or 7.5 million kilometers of Earth.[5]

The experimental Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission was a resounding success, as a small spacecraft hurtled toward a binary asteroid some 7 million miles from Earth at a speed of roughly 14,000mph. This mission helped change the orbit of the faraway asteroid Dimorphous by crashing into it.

The potential impact of asteroids serves as a reminder that humanity must track asteroids in space. NASA constantly monitors the skies and keeps a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) through the Planetary Defense Coordination Office.[6] Although NASA's astronomers can detect some asteroids, there are others that can hit Earth without warning.[0] Hence, constant monitoring and tracking of these asteroids are essential to avoid catastrophic events.

0. “100-foot asteroid, among 4 others, hurtling towards Earth: NASA” HT Tech, 30 Apr. 2023,

1. “Asteroid Alert! NASA Says Airplane-Sized Asteroid HZ4 Hurtling Towards Earth at Rapid Speed Today, Know if” LatestLY, 4 May. 2023,

2. “COLOSSAL 180-foot asteroid speeding towards Earth at 81907 kmph today, NASA warns” HT Tech, 4 May. 2023,

3. “School bus-sized asteroid to come nearly as close to Earth as the moon” Yahoo! Voices, 3 May. 2023,

4. “NASA alert! Asteroid 2023 HT6 coming dangerously close to Earth at 33007 kmph today” HT Tech, 7 May. 2023,

5. “NASA alert! 87-foot asteroid hurtling towards Earth TODAY at 17235 kmph,” HT Tech, 30 Apr. 2023,

6. “Huge 180ft asteroid hurtles towards Earth at 50,895mph today, NASA warns” Express, 4 May. 2023,

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