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    Close Encounter with Asteroid (2021 CZ2) Highlights Earth’s Celestial Ballet

    Explore the celestial dance as an asteroid (2021 CZ2) gracefully passes Earth – a cosmic spectacle at a safe lunar distance.


    In the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, January 16-17, Earth will experience the close passage of an asteroid named (2021 CZ2), measuring approximately 100 to 200 meters in diameter. The Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) estimates the flyby distance to be within the range of the Moon’s orbit, with a worst-case scenario of around 370,000 kilometers. The event is scheduled for January 16 at 23:30 UTC, with a precision of approximately 2 minutes, as the asteroid speeds by at about 14 km/s.

    Belonging to the Aten group, these asteroids have orbits that usually intersect with Earth’s orbit. The (2021 CZ2) completes one orbit around the Sun every 272 days. While frequent close encounters are common, the vast majority involve smaller objects. Notably, larger asteroids, like the Chelyabinsk meteor in 2013, are rarer but can pose potential threats.

    For real-time updates on near-Earth objects, CNEOS provides a comprehensive database, including details on their sizes and closest approaches. While these encounters are intriguing, the chances of impact remain minuscule, reassuring us of the safety in our cosmic neighborhood.

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