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Asteroid 2022 ES3 LIVE – Exact date of next ‘close approach’ of a space rock revealed after Asteroid 2015 DR215 passed


A HUGE asteroid made a “close approach” to Earth on Friday but another one will swing very close to our planet this weekend, and you can watch it live.

Asteroid 2022 ES3 will end up between the Moon and Earth at around 2.18pm ET on Sunday, March 13, Newsweek reported.

The Virtual Telescope Project will host a livestream of the asteroid’s “very close, but safe, encounter with us” on its WebTV page beginning at 6.30pm UTC on Sunday (1.30pm ET).

Meanwhile, Asteroid 2015 DR215 was expected by experts at Nasa to fly past Earth in the early hours of Friday morning, with the agency’s “close approach” chart listing the exact time as 6.40 UTC.

Asteroid 2022 ES3 is smaller than Asteroid 2015 DR215, which, at up to 1,607 feet wide, is three times larger than the Great Pyramid in Egypt. An asteroid of this size would cause some serious damage if it hit Earth.

Read our Asteroid 2022 ES3 live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Where do asteroids orbit?

    The great majority of known asteroids are either co-orbital with Jupiter or orbit inside the main asteroid belt, which lies between Mars and Jupiter’s orbits.

  • Nasa upgrades asteroid software, continued

    Nasa will be upgrading its 20-year-old software with a new algorithm called Sentry-II, which will periodically scan a table of known potentially hazardous asteroids and their orbits.

    Sentry-II will then calculate if any of the asteroids on the table or added to the table have a risk of hitting Earth.

    The new system will be taking into account something called the Yarkovsky effect, which refers to when an asteroid absorbs sunlight and emits it as heat.

  • What is an asteroid?

    Asteroids are small planets in the inner Solar System.

    Historically, these phrases have been used to describe any astronomical object circling the Sun that did not resolve into a disc in a telescope and did not exhibit active comet-like features such as a tail.

    As minor planets in the outer Solar System with volatile-rich surfaces comparable to comets were discovered, they were differentiated from the objects found in the main asteroid belt.

    As a result, the word “asteroid” now applies to all minor planets in the inner Solar System, including those in Jupiter’s orbit.

  • Nasa upgrades asteroid software

    Nasa has upgraded its asteroid hazard software to better detect potentially dangerous space rocks.

    The US space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) uses a special type of software to assess potentially hazardous asteroids that could slam into Earth.

    There’s no known imminent “doomsday asteroid” on its way but astronomers check the sky often just as a precaution.

  • When was the asteroid discovered?

    On March 7, 2022, astronomers found this asteroid from the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona.

    On the same day, they revealed their discovery.

  • Saving Earth from asteroids, continued

    Nasa said: “DART is the first-ever mission dedicated to investigating and demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection by changing an asteroid’s motion in space through kinetic impact.”

    The DART craft should hit a small asteroid called Dimorphos in September with the ultimate aim of moving it off course.

  • How close will ES3 come to Earth?

    Nasa expects it to come about 205,414 miles from Earth.

  • Saving Earth from asteroids

    Some experts are worried that Earth isn’t yet ready to defend itself from potentially deadly asteroids.

    SpaceX CEO Elon Musk once sparked concern when he tweeted: “a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defense.”

    Nasa is looking into having some defense methods set up, however.

    It recently launched its Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission.

  • Watching the live stream

    The webcast should be available on the project’s website or on its YouTube channel.

    The asteroid is one of five asteroids that will pass near to Earth on Sunday, according to Nasa’s “close approach” list.

  • What is a NEO?

    Nasa considers anything passing near Earth’s orbit a Near-Earth Object (NEO).

    Thousands of NEOs are tracked by scientists to monitor whether they’re on a collision course with our planet.

  • Watch ES3 on close approach

    As Asteroid 2022 ES3 approaches Earth, Nasa will be keeping a tight check on it.

    The broadcast of the Virtual Telescope Project will begin on Sunday, March 13 at 1.30pm ET.

    Its website reads: “Next 13 Mar. 2022, the near-Earth Asteroid 2022 ES3 will have a very close, but safe, encounter with us, coming at about 334.000 km from the Earth, 87% of the average lunar distance.

    “The Virtual Telescope Project will show it to you live!”

  • Threatening space objects, continued

    “We believe anything larger than one to two kilometers (one kilometer is a little more than one-half mile) could have worldwide effects,” Nasa’s site continued.

    Just for reference, a standard 65 seat American school bus is about 35 feet long.

    That means an asteroid smaller than a school bus could still be deadly depending on where it hit.

    But for an asteroid to be “potentially hazardous,” it also has to meet other criteria.

  • Threatening space objects

    Nasa’s website explains that when it comes to potentially dangerous asteroids, “Only once every few million years, an object large enough to threaten Earth’s civilization comes along.”

    “Impact craters on Earth, the moon and other planetary bodies are evidence of these occurrences.”

    “Space rocks smaller than about 25 meters (about 82 feet) will most likely burn up as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere and cause little or no damage.”

    “If a rocky meteoroid larger than 25 meters but smaller than one kilometer ( a little more than 1/2 mile) were to hit Earth, it would likely cause local damage to the impact area.”

  • How close will Asteroid 2022 ES3 get?

    Nasa expects Asteroid 2022 ES3 to fly by about 205,414 miles from Earth.

    This is very close for an asteroid; by comparison, the Moon is about 238,900 miles away from us.

  • Watch a ‘close approach’ asteroid this weekend

    The Virtual Telescope Project will be live-streaming what it’s calling the “very close” approach of an asteroid this weekend.

    Nasa will also be keeping an eye on Asteroid 2022 ES3 as it makes its close approach to our planet.

    The Virtual Telescope Project livestream will start on Sunday March 13 at 6:30pm UTC (1:30pm ET).

    Its website states: “Next 13 Mar. 2022, the near-Earth Asteroid 2022 ES3 will have a very close, but safe, encounter with us, coming at about 334.000 km from the Earth, 87% of the average lunar distance.”

    “The Virtual Telescope Project will show it to you live!”

  • What is considered a ‘close approach’?

    If an asteroid comes within 4.65million miles of Earth and is over a certain size, it is considered “potentially hazardous” by cautious space agencies.

    Friday’s large asteroid fit that description.

    The asteroid was scheduled to shoot past from its safe distance at a speed of just under 19,000 miles per hour sometime this morning.

  • Nasa monitors thousands of asteroids

    Nasa has its eye on nearly 28,000 known near-Earth asteroids, and discoveries of new asteroids are said to go up by their thousands each year.

    On that note, Nasa is hoping to launch its Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor mission in 2026.

  • Even small asteroids can be dangerous, continued

    Around 1,600 people were injured when that asteroid exploded, mostly as a result of broken glass from windows, according to NASA as cited by Newsweek.

    The agency’s planetary defense officer Lindley Johnson said it was a “cosmic wake-up call.”

  • Even small asteroids can be dangerous

    In February 2013, an asteroid that NASA previously described as “house-sized,” so relatively small next to Asteroid 2015 DR215, exploded in the skies, Newsweek noted.

    It exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk after it entered Earth’s atmosphere at around 40,000 miles per hour, and released a shock wave that obliterated windows over 200 square miles when it exploded.

  • Smaller asteroid

    Asteroid 2015 DR215 was fairly large at up to 1,607 feet wide, which is three times larger than the Great Pyramid in Egypt

    But the next approaching asteroid, Asteroid 2022 ES3, is much smaller.

    It is “somewhere between 33 and 72 feet in diameter—about as wide as the length of a bowling lane,” Newsweek reported.

  • Concerned tweets

    In response to Musk’s tweet, people on Twitter reacted to the concern that Earth might not be prepared for asteroids to hit.

    One user tweeted: “We need to develop a new technology to prevent this…”

    Another said: “I am forever grateful that you retweeted this and that NASA is finally getting their s**t together on this topic.”

    “Not only are we vulnerable but this will help space funding as well.”

  • ‘No defense’

    Some experts are worried that Earth isn’t yet ready to defend itself from potentially deadly asteroids that could hit in the future.

    SpaceX CEO Elon Musk once sparked concern by tweeting: “a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defense.”

  • Is an asteroid approaching Earth?

    Asteroid 2015 DR215 is a large asteroid that made a close approach in the early hours of Friday morning.

    Plus, another asteroid, Asteroid 2022 ES3, will soon pass by at a distance of about 206,000 miles, according to Newsweek.

    It is set to fly past Earth on Sunday, March 13.

  • How fast did the asteroid move?

    Asteroid 2015 DR215 was set to shoot past the Earth from its safe distance at a speed of just under 19,000 miles per hour.

    Nasa’s “close approach” chart noted it likely flew by early this morning.

  • When did Asteroid 2015 DR215 pass?

    Nasa’s “close approach” chart listed the exact time Asteroid 2015 DR215 got close to Earth as 6.40 UTC.

    It was expected to swing by in the early hours of March 11.





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