NASA has recently discovered an asteroid on a collision course with Earth's atmosphere.
NASA's Centre for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) spotted asteroid 2023 BU on Saturday, January 21st and it is expected to safely pass by Earth on Friday morning, January 27th at approximately 12:30 am.
Asteroid 2023 BU will pass approximately 2,500 miles above the Earth's surface, making it the fourth closest known space rock to approach our planet in the past and future.
At a distance of just under three percent of the average distance between Earth and the Moon, asteroid 2023 BU will be passing very close to Earth.
According to the Centre for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), asteroid 2023 BU measures between 12.4ft and 27.8ft, thus even if it were on a collision course with Earth, there would be no cause for significant concern.
NASA experts have stated that asteroids smaller than approximately 82 ft have a higher likelihood of burning up in the Earth's atmosphere rather than impacting the surface.
Astronomy enthusiasts will be able to observe asteroid 2023 BU as it safely passes by Earth's atmosphere, thanks to the Virtual Telescope Project.
The Virtual Telescope Project (VTP) is a collection of online, robotic telescopes located in Ceccano, Italy, that allows individuals to remotely access and experience astronomy from the comfort of their own homes.
The Virtual Telescope Project's live stream of asteroid 2023 BU will begin on Thursday, January 26th at 7:15 pm.
In other news, NASA has funded the development of a new handheld laser that could potentially assist scientists in detecting extraterrestrial life.
The updated handheld laser device, weighing 17 pounds, has been designed to be compact and lightweight enough for astronauts to take with them on space missions.
A team led by the University of Maryland has developed a device that utilizes an ultraviolet laser to cleanse planetary material of particles.
The particles will be analyzed in the hopes of discovering organic compounds.
The alien-hunting laser enables scientists to examine larger and more complex compounds in relation to biology.
Scientists say that analyzing smaller compounds, such as amino acids, is more difficult.
Scientists say that the laser is much more suitable for space travel than its larger prototype and could potentially be launched into space within the next few years.
We are indeed living in the future.