A bus-sized asteroid that will fly near Earth near the moon tomorrow – and can be seen with a 12-inch telescope
- The Asteroid 2020 SW is scheduled to pass close to Earth only 13,000 miles from the surface
- The object will be closer to Earth than its moon, which is 240,000 miles away
- NASA experts say it should not have an impact, but if it does, the asteroid will disintegrate into the atmosphere and fall from the sky in the form of a fireball.
- Those on Earth can view the asteroid with a 12-inch telescope
- She’ll work her closest approach at 7:12 a.m. on Thursday, September 24th
A bus-sized asteroid will fly close to Earth on September 24.
The object, dubbed 2020 SW, will travel 13,000 miles from Earth, which is closer than the moon and weather satellites that float in space.
After the asteroid was spotted by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on September 18, follow-up observations determined it to be 15 to 30 feet wide and would close it at 7:12 a.m. ET.
Experts say the 2020 SW is not on an impact path with Earth, but if it were, then the space rock would likely disintegrate into the atmosphere and become a fireball before hitting the surface.
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An asteroid the size of a bus is scheduled to fly close to Earth on September 24. The object, called 2020 SW, will travel 13,000 miles from Earth, which is closer than the moon and weather satellites floating in space
“ There are a large number of small asteroids like this, and many of them approach our planet as close as this several times each year, ” said Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
“In fact, asteroids of this size affect our atmosphere on average once every year or two.”
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory also indicates that the asteroid will fly across the Earth near the moon’s orbit, which is about 240,000 miles away, and closely approach below the ring of geostationary satellites that orbit about 22,000 miles from our planet.
Asteroids have made close-to-Earth flights in the past, but those standing on the surface may have a chance to see 2020 rapidly west.
After the asteroid was spotted by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on September 18, follow-up observations determined its width to be 15 to 30 feet wide and will close it at 7:12 a.m. ET.
Shodas said CNBS Although the asteroid will be too far from seeing with the naked eye, amateur astronomers can capture a glimpse with a 12-inch telescope.
These telescopes are commonly used amongst stargazers and are powerful enough to see the amazing colors in distant nebulae.
After showing its face on Thursday, the 2020 SW will continue its journey around the sun.
The asteroid is set to head towards Earth in 2014, but it will not come close to visiting it.
After showing its face on Thursday, the 2020 SW will continue its journey around the sun. The asteroid is scheduled to head towards Earth in 2014, but it will not come close to visiting it
Scientists speculate that there are more than 100 million smaller asteroids such as 2020 SW flying in space, but are difficult to detect unless they approach Earth (stock)
NASA was employed by Congress in 2005 to identify at least 90 percent of near-Earth asteroids that are about 460 feet in size and above.
Scientists expect that there are more than 100 million smaller asteroids such as 2020 SW flying in space, but they are difficult to detect unless close to Earth.
“The detection capabilities of NASA’s asteroids surveys are constantly improving,” Chodas said. “We should now expect to find asteroids of this size two days before they approach our planet.”
Astronomers are looking for asteroids over 450 feet high because they can cause “catastrophic damage”
Researchers have discovered most asteroids with a size of about 1 km, but are now looking for those around 459 feet (140 meters) – where they can cause catastrophic damage.
Although no one knows when the next big impact will happen, scientists have found themselves under pressure to predict – and intercept – its arrival.
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“Sooner or later we will have … little or no effect,” said Rolf Densing, who heads the European Space Operations Center (ESOC) in Darmstadt.
It may not happen in our lifetime, he said, but “the risk of hitting Earth one day in a devastating event is extremely high.”
“At the moment, there is not much we can do.”
Source: Agence France-Presse
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