A bus-sized asteroid will be closer to Earth than the Moon tomorrow – and will be visible through a 12-inch telescope
- Asteroids 2020 will have to pass through Earth 13,000 miles away from the SW surface
- The object will be closer to Earth than its moon, which is 240,000 miles away
- NASA experts say it shouldn’t have an effect, but if it does, the asteroid will break into the atmosphere and fall from the sky as a fireball.
- You can see the asteroid using a 12-in telescope on the ground
- It will be closest at 7:12 a.m. on Thursday, September 24th
On September 24, a bus-sized asteroid is set to make a flyby closer to Earth.
Dubbed the 2020 SW, the object will travel about 13,000 miles from Earth near the moon and weather satellites floating in space.
After the asteroid was identified by a NASA-funded Catalina Sky survey in Arizona on Sept. 17, follow-up observations determined that it would be 15 to 30 feet wide and arrive at 7:12 a.m. ET for closure.
Experts say the 2020 SW is not on track to impact the Earth, but if it does, the space rock could break into the atmosphere and become a ball of fire before hitting the surface.
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The asteroid of a bus is set to make a flyby near Earth on September 24. With the 2020 SW dubbed, the object will travel about 13,000 miles from Earth, floating in space more than the moon and weather satellites.
Paul Chodas, director of the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) center, said: ‘
‘In fact, asteroids of this size affect our atmosphere at an average rate of about once or twice a year.’
The JPL also noted that the asteroid would be about 240,000 miles away from Earth orbiting the moon and orbiting about 22,000 miles away from our planet would create a close position under the ring of a geological satellite.
Asteroids have made flyways closer to Earth in the past, but those standing on the surface may have a chance to see the 2020 SW Huez.
After the asteroid was identified by a NASA-funded Catalina Sky survey in Arizona on September 17, follow-up observations have determined that it will be 15 to 30 feet wide and will arrive at 7:12 a.m. ET for closure.
Chodas told CNBS that asteroids would be too far away to be seen with the naked eye, yet amateur astronomers can get a glimpse using a 12-inch telescope.
These telescopes are commonly used among stargazers and are strong enough to see the stunning colors of distant nebulae.
After showing the face on Thursday, the 2020 SW will continue its journey around the sun.
The asteroid is set to return to Earth in 2014, but will not be close to any observer.
After showing the face on Thursday, the 2020 SW will continue its journey around the sun. The asteroid is set to return to Earth in 2014, but will not be close to any observer
Scientists estimate that more than 100 billion small asteroids, such as the 2020 SW, are flying through space, but they are difficult to determine if they are not close to Earth (stock).
NASA was commissioned by Congress in 2005 to identify at least 90 percent of Earth’s asteroids, about 460 feet and larger in size.
Scientists estimate that more than 100 billion small asteroids, such as the 2020 SW, are flying through space, but it is difficult to find a spot if they do not reach close to Earth.
“NASA’s ability to detect asteroid surveys is constantly improving, and we should expect to find asteroids of this size a few days before we get closer to our planet,” Chodas said.
Astronomers are hunting for asteroids larger than 450 feet because they can cause ‘catastrophic damage’
Researchers have often discovered asteroids that are about a kilometer in size, but now they are looking for about 459 feet (140 meters) – because they could cause catastrophic damage.
Although no one knows when the next big impact will occur, scientists are under pressure to prevent it before it arrives.
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Ralph Dansing, head of the European Space Operations Center (ESOC) in Darmstadt, said: “Soon we will have … a small or a large impact.”
It may not be in our lifetime, he said, but “the risk of the world falling into a catastrophic event one day is very high.”
“For now, there’s nothing we can do.”
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