Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Newly Discovered Football Field-Sized Asteroid to Fly By Earth on September 11

Credit: NASA

A newly detected asteroid the size of a football field is expected to pass by the Earth on Tuesday, September 11 at around 4:05 UTC. The space rock, designated 2018 QU1, will miss our planet with a relative velocity of 12.5 km/s at a distance of about 10.9 lunar distances (LD), what corresponds to 4.18 million kilometers.

2018 QU1 is an Apollo-type asteroid discovered August 30 by the Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) at the Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO), Hawaii. It is an astronomical survey system for detection of dangerous asteroids a few weeks to days before their close approaches to Earth.

According to astronomers, 2018 QU1 has an absolute magnitude of 22.8 and a diameter of about 100 meters. This near-Earth object (NEO) has a semimajor axis of about 1.88 AU and it takes it approximately two and a half years to fully orbit the sun.

Previous close approach of 2018 QU1 to Earth occurred on January 4, 1931, when it passed at a distance of some 50 LD (19.2 million kilometers). No future fly-bys of this object to our planet are currently predicted by astronomers.

To date, astronomers have discovered more than 18,600 NEOs. Only this year 1,114 such objects were detected.

On September 4, there were almost 1,923 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) detected and 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.

9 comments:

  1. Ok so that's 10.9 lunar distances so..that's the closest I would get and that seems to be an approximation so maybe just 10 rather than almost 11 and inspiring numerolgy..I don't know how did you guys caclulate that :)

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  3. On 9/11 huh? What could go wrong on such a nice day?

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  5. An asteroid around the size of a football field is expected to zoom by Earth on Tuesday, but at a safe distance, the US space agency said.
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