A space rock called UF32020 captured by Earth on October 22, as astronomers were able to photograph the transiting asteroid. According to the Virtual Telescope Project, the asteroid flew only 42,000 kilometers, roughly 11 percent of the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
NASA data revealed that the asteroid was flying at 22 kilometers per second, or more than 79,000 kilometers per hour.
At this speed, the asteroid 2020 UF3 could orbit Earth twice in just one hour.
The Virtual Telescope Project described it as the fastest asteroid the astronomical group had ever seen.
She said on her website: “The near-Earth asteroid 2020 UF3 has safely approached our planet, reaching a distance of at least 42,000 kilometers from Earth, which is 11 percent of the average distance of the moon.
It was moving very quickly in the sky, setting a record for a virtual telescope facility.
The image above comes from a 3-second exposure (only three seconds!), Captured remotely with the ‘Elena’ robot unit (PlaneWave 17 ″ + Paramount ME + SBIG STL-6303E) available on the Virtual Telescope.
“At the time of the image above, the 2020 UF3 was its lowest distance from our observatory (39,600 km) and the telescope was tracking at an extremely high speed of 7,000 / min (2 degrees per minute, four times the angular size of the lunar disk) apparent motion: this It is the fastest asteroid we have ever observed.
“The Mount Lemon survey detected this asteroid with a size of 5.7-13 meters on October 21, 2020 and reached its lowest distance from the Earth on October 22, 2020 at 22:17 UTC.”
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NASA said: “Near-Earth objects are comets and asteroids pushed by the gravity of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the neighborhood of Earth.”
“ Scientific interest in comets and asteroids is largely due to their condition as a relatively unchanging remnant of the formation of the Solar System about 4.6 billion years ago.
The giant exoplanets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) formed from the conglomeration of billions of comets and the remaining pieces of this formation process are the comets we see today.
“Likewise, today’s asteroids are bits and pieces left over from the initial cluster of the inner planets that include Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.”