An asteroid flying low above Earth only missed a few hundred miles on Friday the 13th – and was not noticed until the next day.
The asteroid, named 2020 VT4, was detected 15 hours later by scanning the latest alert system for the impact of an asteroid collision at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.
It passed near our planet less than 400 kilometers (240 miles) away, roughly the same distance that the International Space Station orbits the Earth.
As such, asteroid-2020 VT4 sets the record for the closest non-reluctant asteroid passage to Earth.
It was nearly six meters in diameter, and it flew over the South Pacific Ocean. Tony Dunn, who runs the Orbit Simulator website, chirp.
If the asteroid were stuck to Earth, it would have burned up in its atmosphere, leaving a meteorite trail behind. NASA Says It would require an asteroid larger than 25 meters but smaller than 1 kilometer to cause local damage to Earth.
However, a fineness greater than one to two kilometers could have global impacts.
The record for an asteroid passing close to Earth has been broken once this year.
Asteroid 2020 QG It came just 1,830 miles over the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday, according to the Zwicky Transient Facility, which is an automated camera that scans the sky in search of space phenomena.
This asteroid was also particularly small – about three to six meters wide, roughly the size of a large car.
An object of this size passes close to Earth nearly every year, but discovering it is challenging. Space agencies like NASA need to track these objects in case they get close enough to endanger Earth.
Asteroid- 2020 VT4 is not the only space debris that passes through Earth on a particularly unlucky day.
One asteroid called Apophis, its size is about 300 meters, making it similar to the Eiffel Tower.