A “potentially dangerous” near-Earth asteroid discovered with a Chinese telescope

A Chinese wide-field survey telescope recently discovered two near-Earth asteroids: one of them is considered “potentially dangerous”. The two objects were first discovered on November 18 by the Wide Field Survey Telescope (WFST), which was launched in western China’s Qinghai Province in September 2023. This was reported by the official Chinese agency Xinhua in the last few hours.

The International Astronomical Union confirmed the sightings of the celestial bodies and named them 2023 WX1 and 2023 WB2. 2023 WX1 has an estimated diameter of 170 meters and is classified as a “potentially hazardous asteroid.” for a minimum orbital intersection distance with Earth of about 6.22 million kilometers. According to NASA, a total of 2,304 potentially dangerous celestial bodies had been discovered by the end of 2022.

Measuring 2.5 meters in diameter, the WFST was jointly developed by the University of Science and Technology of China and the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and, when commissioned, was the most powerful of its kind in the Northern Hemisphere. Its large field of view and high resolution They make it possible to photograph galaxies that are difficult to observe for other telescopes.

Capable of observing the entire sky from the Northern Hemisphere, this telescope helps monitor astronomical events such as asteroid flybys. Also known as “Mozi”in honor of the ancient Chinese philosopher Mozi, also known as Micio or Mo Tzu, who is considered one of the first thinkers in history to conduct experiments in the field of optics.

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