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Chinese telescope discovers near-Earth asteroids, one potentially dangerous

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Chinese telescope discovers near-Earth asteroids, one potentially dangerous

Chinese Telescope Discovers Two Near-Earth Asteroids, One Considered Potentially Dangerous

A Chinese wide-field survey telescope recently discovered two near-Earth asteroids, one of which is considered “potentially dangerous.” The objects, named 2023 WX1 and 2023 WB2, were first detected on November 18 by the Wide Field Survey Telescope (WFST) in western China’s Qinghai Province.

The International Astronomical Union confirmed the sightings of the celestial bodies. 2023 WX1 has an estimated diameter of 170 meters and is classified as a “potentially dangerous asteroid” as it has a minimum orbital intersection distance with Earth of about 6.22 million kilometers.

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), as of the end of 2022, a total of 2,304 potentially dangerous celestial bodies had been detected. The WFST, with a diameter of 2.5 meters, is the most powerful of its kind in the northern hemisphere. Developed by the University of Science and Technology of China and the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the WFST has a large field of view and high resolution, making it possible to photograph galaxies that are difficult for other telescopes to observe.

The telescope, also known as “Mozi,” helps monitor astronomical events such as the passage of asteroids and is capable of observing the entire sky from the northern hemisphere. Named in honor of the ancient Chinese philosopher Mozi, also known as Micio or Mo Tzu, “Mozi” is considered one of the first thinkers in history to carry out experiments in the field of optics.

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