Near miss asteroid
NASA announced a near miss asteroid of medium size that storms through the vastness of empty space at an enormous speed of 78,000 miles per hour – on Halloween!
It is calculated that the asteroid is within a hazardous proximity of the Earth in terms of the fly-by – it will miss us by merely half a million kilometres. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like it will be flying so close after all, but in astronomical values of distance, it’s called “a hair line”.
Orbit of the Halloween asteroid
Despite all available technology, hi-tech deep space telescopes and tens of thousands astronomers observing the night sky on a daily basis, NASA’s spotted the near-miss asteroid only two weeks ago – “The speeding rock is on an extremely eccentric and a high inclination orbit”.
What does that mean?
This of course isn’t the greatest of news as it tells us that the asteroid’s orbit could be affected and then shifted by other objects in our Solar System such as the sun, Earth or even the Moon. Luckily – not to the extent where it would steer the asteroid on the collision course with us. NASA are certain that it will not hit the Earth.
We won’t be able to observe the fly-by with a naked eye, however a small home telescope will be more than enough to spot in the night sky.
“This is the closest approach by a known object this large until 1999 AN10 approaches within 1 lunar distance in August 2027” – (384,400 kilometers – 238,900 miles). Note that the radius of the Earth is only 6,371 kilometers!
Fun fact – the space agency (NASA) considers anything that travels toward the Earth by less than 7,500,000km as hazardous in terms of the distance.