February 12, 2024 – Yesterday, a large asteroid named 2024 CJ1 whizzed past Earth at a blistering speed of 27,463 kilometers per hour (17,062 miles per hour). This close encounter, classified as “near-Earth object” (NEO) flyby, placed the asteroid closer to us than the Moon, at a distance of approximately 367,000 kilometers (228,000 miles). Despite its proximity, the event posed no threat to our planet.
The flyby was monitored closely by astronomers and space agencies like NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). Observations revealed that 2024 CJ1 is roughly 1.2 kilometers (0.75 miles) in diameter, making it comparable in size to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Its rapid speed is attributed to its orbital path, which intersects Earth’s orbit but doesn’t directly collide with it.
This close approach wasn’t a one-time event. 2024 CJ1 has visited our neighborhood before, passing Earth in 2018 and scheduled for another flyby later this year in July. While it’s reassuring to know this asteroid poses no immediate danger, its close encounter serves as a reminder of the importance of continuous NEO tracking and monitoring. By studying these celestial objects, we can better understand their trajectories and refine our ability to predict potential future impacts, ensuring the safety of our planet and its inhabitants.
The flyby of asteroid 2024 CJ1 highlights the importance of ongoing NEO research and monitoring. While this specific asteroid posed no threat, continued observation and understanding of potentially hazardous celestial objects are crucial for safeguarding our planet in the long run.
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