Watch A Huge Asteroid Fly Between Earth And The Moon In A Once In A Decade Event

hero image of asteroid in space
A 200-foot asteroid is on course to pass Earth at a distance closer than the moon. Asteroid 2023 DZ2 will make its near-Earth flyby just before 4pm EST on March 25, 2023.

2023 DZ2 is currently estimated to have a diameter of 210 feet (64 meters) and is part of the Apollo family of asteroids, according to a post on EarthSky. In comparison, the asteroid that entered Earth's atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013 was approximately 65 feet (20 meters) in diameter. That asteroid caused widespread damage and injuries in the area.

nasa image 2023dmz2 flyby
NASA image of 2023 DMZ2's path

While 2023 DMZ2 does not pose a risk of impacting Earth now, it was showing a slight risk of impacting Earth on March 27, 2026, for a short time. It has since been removed from the Sentry Risk Table, with the website stating, " to rule out previous potential impacts as no longer consistent with the observations."

For those who want to try and catch a glimpse of the asteroid as it zips between Earth and the Moon at a speed of 17,403mph (28,008km/h), it should be able to be viewed using six-inch (15cm) and larger diameter telescopes. Even though 2023 DMZ2 is traveling at what seems like a breakneck speed to us here on Earth, its speed of 7.78km/s is relatively slow compared to other space rocks being studied.

2023DZ2 early on night of March 24 2023
Where to view 2023 DMZ2 on night of March 24, 2023. Courtesy of EarthSky

If you are fortunate enough to have a telescope capable of spying the asteroid, it will appear as a "slow-moving star," and you'll possibly be able to detect its motion in real-time.

According to EarthSky, one of the better-known techniques for being able to spot an asteroid is to point the telescope at a known star in the asteroid's path. After obtaining the star in the field of view, simply wait for the asteroid to pass by.

The best time to view asteroid 2023 DMZ2 will be on the night of Friday, March 24, 2023, in the Northern Hemisphere. If you are lucky enough to capture any images of the nearby space rock, be sure to share them in the comments below.
Tags:  space, NASA, moon, Earth, asteroid