How To See The 200-Foot Asteroid 2023 DZ2 Pass Earth
This asteroid, labeled 2023 DZ2, is newly discovered and swinging past our planet — here's how to watch.
For families who love all things in the sky, there’s a really exciting opportunity to see an asteroid that was only discovered last month. There isn’t much known about this new flying rock, but the 200-foot meteor is closely flying by Earth this month, and with the right gear, you can view it passing by with your own two eyes. Here’s what you need to know.
Which asteroid is flying by Earth, and when can I watch?
The asteroid that’s flying by Earth is a newly discovered one, which makes it extra exciting. This asteroid, labeled 2023 DZ2, according to EarthSky, is “part of the Apollo family of asteroids.”
The asteroid was first discovered at an observatory in La Palma, in the Canary Islands, Spain, in late February 2023.
“As of March 16, 2023, there were only 31 observations of the new asteroid’s orbit spanning 1.9854 days,” EarthySky notes. “New observations will better define the space rock’s orbit and should allow scientists to get a more precise estimate of its size, which could be between 173 and 393 feet (53 and 120 meters) in diameter.”
2023 DZ2 is classified as a NEO (Near Earth Object), and it orbits the sun every 3.25 years. EarthSky suggests the best time to watch the asteroid pass by Earth from the Northern Hemisphere is early in the night on March 24, 2023.
How can I watch the asteroid flying by Earth with the kids?
For families who are pretty familiar with the constellations, the new asteroid will be “east of the constellations Orion, Canis Major, and Canis Minor,” EarthySky notes.
You can visit Stellarium online to get a better timeframe for when you can best view the asteroid based on where you live, and to get diagrams of the sky to figure out where to tune your eyes.
“On the night of March 24, 2023, you might be able to see the space rock’s motion in real-time through a telescope,” EarthSky explains.
Looking through a telescope, the asteroid will appear like a “slow-moving star” that passes by the stars in the sky that aren’t moving.
Happy stargazing — or in this case, asteroid-gazing!