On Friday the 13th, a low-flying asteroid missed Earth hundreds of miles away – and did not catch sight of it until the next day.
The asteroid, known as the 2020 VT4, was touched 15 hours later by an asteroid terrestrial-effect latest warning system survey at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.
It has traveled 400 kilometers (240 miles) with our planet, about the same distance as the International Space Station orbiting Earth.
As such, Asteroid-2020 VT4 sets the record for the nearest recorded non-meteor asteroid pass to Earth.
It flew over the South Pacific Ocean, about six meters in diameter. Its confrontation with Earth has “shortened its orbit, ensuring that this Earth-crosser will create more frequent approaches,” said Tony Dunn, who runs the website Orbit Simulator. Tweeted.
If the asteroid stuck to Earth, it could ignite in its atmosphere, leaving a trail behind it. NASA says it will take asteroids larger than 25 meters but smaller than one kilometer to do local damage to Earth.
However, Android larger than one to two kilometers can have a wordwide effect.
The record for the closest asteroid pass to Earth has been broken only once this year.
The asteroid 2020 QG landed 1,830 miles over the South Indian Ocean on Sunday, according to the Zuiki Transient Facility, a robotic camera that scans the sky in search of space events.
That asteroid was also particularly small – about three to six meters across, which is roughly the size of a large vehicle.
An object of this size moves closer to the Earth almost every year, but identifying them is challenging. If space agencies like NASA are enough to endanger the Earth, they need to track these things.
Asteroid-2020 VT4 is not the only place to pass the Earth on a particularly unfortunate day.
An asteroid called Apophis is about 300 meters in size and makes it comparable to the Eiffel Tower.