NASA said that a newly discovered asteroid will pass within 100,000 miles of Earth this weekend. The 300-foot-long asteroid, named 2023 DZ2, will safely cross between the Earth and the Moon on Saturday (March 25) afternoon.
"A newly discovered #asteroid named 2023 DZ2 will safely pass by Earth on Saturday at 100K+ miles away. 🌎. While close approaches are a regular occurrence, one by an asteroid of this size (140-310 ft) happens only about once per decade, providing a unique opportunity for science," NASA Asteroid Watch tweeted. "Astronomers with the International Asteroid Warning Network are using this close approach to learn as much as possible about 2023 DZ2 in a short time period - good practice for #PlanetaryDefense in the future if a potential asteroid threat were ever discovered."
Amateur astronomers should be able to catch a glimpse of 2023 DZ2 as it buzzes past the Earth at a speed of 17,400 mph relative to Earth. It should be visible to anybody with a small telescope and will appear as a slow-moving star in the southeastern sky to the east of the constellation Orion. The best time to view the asteroid in the northern hemisphere is on Friday night.
According to EarthSky, astronomers initially predicted it had a slight chance of striking Earth when it returns in 2026. However, the latest projections from NASA indicate it no longer poses a threat.