Sunday, September 3, 2017

Small Asteroid 2017 QB35 Flies by Earth

A newly spotted asteroid, designated 2017 QB35, flew by Earth on Sunday, September 3, missing our planet at a distance of 0.93 lunar distances (LD), or 345,600 kilometers. The space rock flew by Earth at 8:40 UTC with a relative velocity of 4.1 km/s.

2017 QB35 was discovered on August 31, 2017 by the Mount Lemmon Survey (MLS), which uses 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 new NEOs. It has detected more than 50,000 minor planets to date.

2017 QB35 is an Aten-type asteroid with and an absolute magnitude of 29.3 and an estimated diameter between 2 and 8 meters. The object has a semimajor axis of 0.93 AU and an orbital period of 326 days.

Next close approach of 2017 QB35 will occur on June 4, 2025, when it will pass by our planet at a much larger distance of about 100 LD.

Currently, there are 1,803 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.

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