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NASA's Jaw-Dropping Asteroid Discovery Will Leave You Speechless!

Breaking News: NASA's Jaw-Dropping Asteroid Discovery Will Leave You Speechless!

NASA recently achieved a historic milestone when its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully delivered the first-ever asteroid sample to U.S. soil on September 24. This remarkable spacecraft embarked on an epic journey, covering a staggering distance of nearly 7 billion kilometers. Along the way, it conducted a virtual landing on the asteroid known as Bennu, which holds a 1 in 2700 chance of colliding with Earth between 2175 and 2195. The spacecraft collected valuable dust and rock samples from Bennu's surface and safely transported them back to Earth. Astonishingly, scientists have discovered that the mission has yielded an unexpectedly abundant amount of samples, requiring additional time to complete the Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSM).

Christopher Snead, the deputy OSIRIS-REx curation lead at NASA's Johnson Space Center, expressed his excitement about the surplus material, stating, "There's a lot of abundant material outside the TAGSAM head that's interesting in its own right. It's really spectacular to have all that material there."

In a separate update, NASA has disclosed information about an upcoming close encounter with an asteroid. Here are the key details:

When Will the Close Approach Occur?

According to data released by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), an asteroid designated as Asteroid 2023 SN6 is rapidly approaching Earth and is expected to make its closest pass by the planet today, on October 4.

How Fast Is It Traveling?

NASA reports that this space rock is hurtling toward Earth at an astounding speed of 30,564 kilometers per hour. While it will come within a distance of 4.8 million kilometers from the planet's surface, this may seem significant, but in the realm of astronomical distances, it is relatively close, especially considering the asteroid's size.

What Is Its Size?

NASA has determined that Asteroid 2023 SN6 is not sizable enough to be classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object. It measures approximately 86 feet in width, which, while substantial, falls short of meeting the criteria for such classification. To put it in perspective, it's roughly equivalent in size to an aircraft.

This asteroid belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, which includes space rocks that intersect Earth's orbit and have semi-major axes larger than Earth's. They are named after the massive 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.

Following its close approach today, Asteroid 2023 SN6 is not anticipated to make another near pass to Earth, according to NASA.

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