Asteroid passes Earth closer than some satellites

Space rock travels over southern tip of South America only 3,540km above the planet’s surface

An asteroid the size of a small truck passed by Earth overnight in one of the closest approaches to the planet ever recorded.

Asteroid 2023 BU went over the southern tip of South America at about 12.27am on Friday, only some 3,540km above the Earth’s surface.

It was well within the orbit of the planet’s satellites, Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said.

Experts had said there was no risk of the asteroid – estimated to be 11.5ft to 28ft across – smashing into Earth.


The asteroid was discovered by amateur astronomer Gennadiy Borisov, from his Margo observatory in Nauchnyi, Crimea, on January 21st.

Nasa’s Scout impact hazard assessment system analysed the data and predicted the near miss.

Although any asteroid in Earth’s proximity will experience a change in trajectory due to the planet’s gravity, 2023 BU came so close that its path around the sun is expected to be significantly altered.