Sunday, October 7, 2018

Newly Discovered Small Asteroid Passes by Earth

Credit: NASA

A newly detected small asteroid, designated 2018 TV, flew by Earth on Sunday, October 7, at around 20:05 UTC. The space rock missed our planet at a distance of about 0.74 lunar distances (LD), what corresponds to 284,000 kilometers.

2018 TV was first spotted on October 5, 2018 by the Mount Lemmon Survey (MLS), which utilizes a 1.52 m cassegrain reflector telescope at Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona. MLS is one of the most prolific surveys when it comes to discovering near-Earth objects (NEOs). So far, it has detected more than 50,000 minor planets.

According to observations, 2018 TV is an Apollo-type asteroid with an estimated diameter between 3 and 11 meters. The object has an absolute magnitude of 28.6, a semimajor axis of 1.64 AU and an orbital period of 2.11 years. It pass by the Earth with a relative velocity of around 8.5 km/s.

2018 TV is also expected to fly by the Moon on Monday, October 8 at 5:14 UTC, at a distance of approximately 1.05 LD (403,000 kilometers). Next close approach of this asteroid to Earth will occur on January 21, 2021, when it will pass at a much larger distance of some 159 LD (61 million kilometers).

On October 7, there were nearly 2,000 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) detected, however none of them is on a collision course with our planet. PHAs are asteroids larger than 100 meters that can come closer to Earth than 19.5 LD (7.5 million kilometers).

To date, astronomers have discovered more than 18,800 NEOs. Only this month, 14 such objects were detected.

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