Asteroids fly to Earth at ‘extremely close’ distances at record speeds Science | News

2220 UF3, a space rock shot by Earth on October 22, astronomers were able to take pictures of the passing asteroid. According to the Virtual Telescope project, the asteroid flew at a distance of only 42,000 kilometers, which is about 11 percent of the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

NASA data show that the asteroid was flying at 22 kilometers per second or more than, 0009,000 kilometers per hour.

At that speed, the asteroid 2020 UF3 could orbit the Earth twice in just one hour.

The Virtual Telescope project described it as the fastest asteroid observed by the astronomical group.

It said on its website: “Earth’s closest asteroid 2020 UF3 came very close to our planet safely, reaching a minimum distance of about 42,000 kilometers from Earth, 11 percent of the Moon’s average distance.

“It moved extremely fast in the sky, setting a record for virtual telescope facilities.

“The image above comes from a single, 3-second (just three seconds!) Exposure, remotely taken with the robotic unit available in the ‘Elena’ (Planewave 17 ″ + Paramount ME + SBIG STL-6303E) virtual telescope.

“At the time of the image above, the 2020 UF3 was the shortest distance from our observatory (39600 km) and the telescope was tracking the lunar disk at a very fast rate of 7000 ″ / min (2 degrees per minute, four times the angular size). Apparent speed: The fastest asteroid I noticed.

“This 7.7 – 13 meter large asteroid was discovered by the Mount Lemon Survey on October 21, 2020 and reached its minimum distance from Earth on October 22, 2020, 22: 1: 17 UTC.”

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NASA said: “NEOs are comets and asteroids orbited by the gravitational pull of nearby planets that allow them to enter the Earth’s orbit.

“Scientists’ interest in comets and astronomy is considerable in their status as the remains of relatively unchanged remnants from the formation of the solar system about 6.6 billion years ago.

“The massive outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) made up of the sum of billions of comets and the left bits and pieces of this formation process that we see today.

“Similarly, today’s asteroids are bits and pieces from the initial aggregates of planets that include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.”

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