Small asteroid turns out to be nearest ever seen passing Earth: NASA
- August 19, 2020
An asteroid the size of an SUV passed 1,830 miles (2,950 kilometers) above Earth, the nearest asteroid ever watched passing by our planet, NASA said Tuesday.
In the event that it had been on a collision course with Earth, the asteroid – named 2020 QG – would likely not have caused any harm, rather deteriorating in the atmosphere, making a fireball in the sky, or a meteor, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said in an announcement.
The asteroid, which was around 10 to 20 feet (three to six meters) since a long time ago, went over the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday at 0408 GMT.
It was moving at almost eight miles for each second (12.3 kilometers every second), well beneath the geostationary orbit of around 22,000 miles at which most telecommunication satellites fly.
The asteroid was first recorded six hours after its methodology by the Zwicky Transient Facility, a telescope at the Palomar Observatory at the California Institute of Technology, as a long path of light in the sky.
The US space organization said that comparatively sized asteroids pass by Earth at a comparative separation a couple of times each year.
In any case, they’re hard to record, except if they’re going legitimately towards the planet, where case the blast in the atmosphere is generally seen – as in Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013, when the blast of an object around 66 feet since quite a while ago broke windows for a significant distance, harming a thousand people.
One of NASA’s missions is to monitor bigger asteroids (460 feet) that could really represent a danger to Earth, however their equipment likewise tracks smaller ones.
“It’s really cool to see a small asteroid come by this close, because we can see the Earth’s gravity dramatically bends its trajectory,” said Paul Chodas, the director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA.
As indicated by the JPL’s calculations, the space rock turned by around 45 degrees because of Earth’s gravitational pull.