Friday, November 24, 2017

Small Asteroid to Fly Past Earth on Saturday

A newly discovered small asteroid, named 2017 VY13, is expected to fly by Earth on Saturday, November 25, at a safe distance of about two lunar distances (LD), what corresponds to 768,000 kilometers. The space rock will miss our planet at 21:13 UTC with a relative velocity of 10.5 km/s.

2017 VY13 was first observed on November 14 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.

2017 VY13 is an Apollo-type asteroid with an estimated diameter between 9 and 30 meters. It has an absolute magnitude of 26.5, semimajor axis of 1.35 AU and it takes it nearly 1.6 years to fully orbit the sun.

Besides close approach to our planet on Saturday, 2017 VY13 is also slated to miss the Moon on the same day at 21:33 UTC at a distance of approximately 2.45 LD, or 941,000 kilometers.

Astronomers calculate that 2017 VY13 will fly by Venus on August 2, 2019 at a distance of 48 LD (18.4 million kilometers) and will pass by Earth again on April 20, 2021 at 30 LD (11.5 million kilometers).

Currently, there are 1,853 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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  4. Yeah I had read this news earlier when NASA announced this news from its headquarter washington. That's quite interesting.