Didymos is an asteroid of nearly a kilometer wide orbiting between Earth and Mars at 55,296 (34,750). It is the target of NASA and ESA's combined Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission, which is designed to study and demonstrate our ability to change the course of an asteroid on collision course with Earth. Didymos is designated with the number 65803 and was originally called 1996 GT. It is part of both the Apollo and Amor family of asteroids.
Where is Asteroid 65803 Didymos now?Space in 3D Web App
Didymos circles the sun in an large orbit that occasionally crosses Earth's. Currently it's 451,000,000 (281,000,000) from us, getting 0 closer to us every second. It flies past Earth at an incredible speed, at 23,111 km/h (14,361 mph). Earth has infrequent encounters with this asteroid and its orbit is currently not classified as a collision risk.
Since last night Didymos is 531,068 km (331,917 mi) closer to us. Since you started looking at this page it is 0 km (0 mi) closer.
Will it hit or miss Earth?
Minor planet number 65803 won't come near us until 2123.
NASA and ESA are currently planning to deflect the smaller body of Didymos using a spacecraft called DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test). It will crash into the asteroid in September 2022 at about 15,000 mph. This is called the Kinetic Impactor technique to change an asteroid's trajectory. With the spacecraft will fly a cubesat called LICIACube, which will observe the impact. ESA will subsequently launch the Hera spacecraft which will study the aftermath of the collision.
The planetary defense missions will also serve as a validation of new technologies such as deep space CubeSats, inter-satellite links, autonomous image-based navigation techniques and low-gravity operations.
The first time the asteroid was discovered as it flew past earth was in the year 1996. It was initially designated 1996GT. After that 65803 Didymos approached earth again in 2003, at a distance of about 7 million km.
Photo Credit and other: NASA, ESO/S. Brunier, NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI, NASA/JPL-Caltech, UH/IA