Washington: According to details released by NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), asteroid 2024 CJ1 is expected to pass close to Earth today at a distance of only 367,000 kilometers, which is closer than the Earth than the Moon.
It is one of the closest asteroid approaches in 2024 so far. The asteroid is already heading towards Earth in its orbit at 27,463 kilometers per hour, which is comparable to intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)!
Asteroid 2024 CJ1 belongs to the Apollo group of near-Earth asteroids, which are Earth-crossing space rocks with semimajor axes larger than those of Earth. These asteroids are named after the massive Apollo asteroid of 1862, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.
According to NASA, this is not the first time that asteroid 2024 CJ1 has approached Earth. It first passed the planet on January 12, 2018, at a distance of approximately 65 million kilometers. After today, it will pass by the planet again this year on July 17, at a distance of 57 million kilometers.
NASA says asteroid 2024 CJ1 is almost the size of a bus with a width of almost 22 feet. However, it has been deemed non-threatening and has not been classified as a potentially hazardous object, meaning it does not pose a danger to Earth.