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How close to the Earth will the ‘city killer’ asteroid 2023 DZ2 be and will it be visible?

Astronomers announced that the asteroid 2023 DZ2 will safely fly past the Earth on Saturday, March 25. Will the heavenly body be visible to the naked eye?

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NASA had warned that a newly discovered asteroid would whizz by the Earth on Saturday, March 25. The asteroid, named 2023 DZ2 and nicknamed ‘Dizzy’, will not hit the planet but will be close enough to be seen with the right equipment.

READ ALSO: Katya Echazarreta, blazing a trail for Mexico’s space program

How big is ‘city killer’ asteroid 2023 DZ2?

Asteroid 2023 DZ2 was originally believed to be on a collision course with the Earth further off in the future, but orbital calculations and adjustments have shown that it will come sooner, and will not hit the planet.

The heavenly body has been termed a “city killer” - an asteroid big enough to wipe out an entire city - because of its size. ‘Dizzy’ is estimated to measure between 130-330 feet in diameter, which falls within the “city killer” range of 165-460 feet.

READ ALSO: NASA warns of close approach of asteroid Saturday

How close to the Earth will the ‘city killer’ asteroid get?

Astronomers will be able to study the space rock during its close encounter with the Earth. While 2023 DZ2 will not crash into the planet, it will approach close enough to be observed. It will be nearest around 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 25. ‘Dizzy’ is expected to get to within 109,000 miles of the Earth, and will be traveling at 17,000 mph.

NASA says asteroids of such size only come so close about once every ten years. The space rock is in an orbit around the sun, which means that it will continue to go around it.

How and where can I see the ‘Dizzy’ asteroid?

For those with big telescopes, you may be able to get a close up of 2023 DZ2. However, the easiest way to get a glimpse is to view live streams from robotic telescopes.

  • The Virtual Telescope Project will provide a live webcast of Dizzy’s approach via a robotic telescope in Italy.
  • You can also watch the approach through Slooh’s online telescope views. They will livestream the event on their YouTube channel.
  • NASA will track 2023 DZ2 in real-time with “Eyes on Asteroids,” a 3D visualization tool accessible from any smartphone, tablet, or computer.

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