Sunday, June 11, 2017

Asteroid Larger than a Football Stadium to Fly By Earth on June 24


An asteroid larger than a football stadium is expected to miss our planet on Saturday, June 24 at a safe distance of about 7.9 lunar distances (LD) - slightly more than three million kilometers. The space rock, designated 2010 NY65 (or 441987), will pass by Earth with a relative velocity of 12.7 km/s at 6:38 UTC.

2010 NY65 was detected on July 14, 2010 by the NEOWISE system on NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft. According to NASA, NEOWISE harvests measurements of asteroids and comets from the WISE images and provides a rich archive for searching WISE data for solar system objects.

The asteroid 2010 NY65 has an absolute magnitude of 21.5 mag, an orbital period of about one year and an estimated size of approximately 230 meters.

Astronomers are interested in 2010 NY65 because it makes annual close approaches to Earth. Last year, on June 24, the object passed by our planet at a distance of about 10.7 LD. Next year, also on June 24, it will fly by Earth at a distance of 7.3 LD.

2010 NY65 has also frequent close encounters with Venus. The last one occurred on June 25, 1999 and another one will take place on May 22, 2020.

2010 NY65 is classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs). PHAs are asteroids larger than 100 meters that can come closer to Earth than 19.5 LD. On June 11, 2017, there were 1,803 PHAs detected, however none of them is on a collision course with our planet.

7 comments:

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