Monument-sized asteroid 2023: On December 5, 2023, an asteroid designated as 2023 WW will approach Earth in close proximity. With a diameter ranging from 30 to 70 meters, the asteroid is approximately the size of a structure like the Taj Mahal. At that speed, the asteroid will be moving at 8.5 kilometers per hour.
On December 5, 2023, an asteroid designated as such will approach the Earth at a safe velocity of 8.5 kilometers per second. Uncomfortably near, the Near Earth Object (NEO) will approach within 7.6 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon. A larger-than-Earth orbit intersecting with the Earth’s orbit distinguishes 2023 WW as an Apollo asteroidal. The frequent traversal of these asteroids along the Earth’s orbit results in their proximity to the planet. NASA monitors near-earth objects in order to assess the potential severity of a catastrophic impact event. A significant main-impact event is not anticipated within the next millennium.
The 2023 World War is both of modest magnitude and is progressing at a relatively slow rate. In contrast, should an asteroid of comparable magnitude and speed collide with Earth, it would not undergo atmospheric combustion and instead leave behind an impact crater measuring approximately 200 meters in diameter and 42 meters in depth. The energy discharged would be equivalent to the detonation of two megatons of TNT, surpassing the energy unleashed during the Tunguska explosion. The asteroid’s impact over water would generate a catastrophic tsunami characterized by waves that could attain a height of 100 meters. An estimated 30,000 individuals would perish and structures within a six-kilometer radius would be destroyed should such an asteroid strike a significant urban center on Earth.
Because even a minor asteroid impact can be catastrophic, asteroid detection and tracking are essential. Predictions regarding the future orbits of asteroids become progressively less precise as time progresses. At present, the execution of a mission to deflect an asteroid using a kinetic impactor—equivalent to ramming a spacecraft into a space rock—requires a time investment ranging from five to ten years, despite the fact that NASA has showcased the capability to do so. Consequently, it is critical to identify potential consequences well in advance of their occurrence.