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X-wing-sized asteroid whizzes past Earth on Star Wars Day

Published May 4th, 2023 2:45PM EDT
christmas asteroid passing earth
Image: Artsiom P / Adobe

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Star Wars Day is a huge day in geek culture, where fans of the spacefaring, laser sword-wielding Jedi come together to celebrate everything they love about the franchise. On top of being a day full of great Star Wars toy deals, it’s also a day for more asteroids to whiz their way past our planet, and the latest culprit making a trip past our little blue orb is an x-wing-sized asteroid known as Asteroid 2023 HF7.

Asteroid 2023 HF7 is estimated to measure just around 15 meters or so in diameter, making it close to the same diameter as an x-wing’s total length (just around 13.4 meters, according to fan wikis). The asteroid is expected to pass within 639,000 kilometers. That isn’t exactly super close, but it might as well be in our backyard when measuring cosmically.

asteroids skimming past EarthImage source: auntspray / Adobe

Still, despite the fact it is coming so close, there’s no reason to fear this X-wing-sized asteroid. While it is considered a Near Earth Object (NEO), it isn’t expected to impact our planet anytime soon. In fact, it will likely be at least a hundred years before we have to worry about an asteroid impact, though there are concerns about an asteroid impact in 2046.

These expectations and estimations are constantly changing, especially as astronomers study newly discovered asteroids to figure out their exact orbits and how they interact with Earth’s orbit. Astronomers are still learning more about 2023 HF7. Other asteroids are expected to swing past Earth on Star Wars Day, though they won’t come as close.

For a bit more context as to just how close this x-wing-sized asteroid will come to Earth, the average distance between our planet and the Moon is just 382,500 kilometers, so the asteroid will pass close to double that distance as fans all around the world celebrate Star Wars Day.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.