Sunday, April 7, 2019

Newly Discovered Stadium-Sized Asteroid to Fly By Earth on Tuesday


A newly detected football stadium-sized asteroid, designated 2019 FU, is expected to fly by the Earth on Tuesday, April 9, at around 10:35 UTC. The space rock will pass by our planet at a distance of about 5.3 lunar distances (LD), or 2.03 million kilometers, with a relative velocity of 14.2 km/s.

2019 FU is an Apollo-type asteroid first spotted on March 26 by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS). CSS is a project to discover comets and asteroids, and to search for near-Earth objects (NEOs), based at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab in Tucson, Arizona.

According to observations, 2019 FU has an estimated diameter between 43 and 140 meters, and absolute magnitude of 23.2. The object orbits the sun every 1,336 days (3.66 years at a distance of approximately 2.37 AU from it. Its orbit has an eccentricity of about 0.64.

Besides Tuesday’s fly-by no other close approaches of asteroid 2019 FU to Earth are currently predicted by astronomers.

On April 7, there were nearly 2,000 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 (7.5 million kilometers). 

To date, astronomers have discovered almost 20,000 NEOs. Only this year 581 such objects were detected.

1 comment:

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