Sunday, August 26, 2018

House-Sized Asteroid to Whiz by Earth on Wednesday


A house-sized asteroid, designated 1998 SD9, is expected to pass by Earth at 7:27 UTC on Wednesday, August 29. The object will fly by our planet with a relative velocity of 10.7 km/s at a distance of approximately 4.2 lunar distances (LD), or 1.61 million kilometers.

1998 SD9 is an Aten-type asteroid first observed on September 18, 1998. The space rock has an absolute magnitude of 24.2 and is estimated to be around 51 meters in size.

1998 SD9 orbits the sun every 215 days at a distance of about 0.7 AU from it.

Astronomers calculate that the first close approach of 1998 SD9 to Earth took place on September 3, 1900, when it passed by our planet at a distance of about 185 LD (71 million kilometers.

Since then, this asteroid made numerous flybys of Earth, Venus and also Mercury.

Next close approach of 1998 SD9 to Earth should take place on October 6, 2021 - at a distance of around 11.3 LD, or 4.3 million kilometers.

To date, astronomers have discovered more than 18,600 near-Earth objects (NEOs). Only this month 123 such objects were detected.

On August 26, there were almost 2,000 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) detected and none of them is on a collision course with our planet. PHAs are asteroids larger than 330 feet (100 meters) that can come closer to Earth than 19.5 LD.

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