Newfound Asteroid Gives Earth a Close Shave

A smallish asteroid zoomed past Earth this morning (Jan. 9), only dual days after scientists initial speckled a space rock.


The asteroid, famous as 2017 AG13, flew by a world during only half a stretch from Earth to a moon currently during 7:47 a.m. EST (1247 GMT). (On average, a moon lies about 239,000 miles, or 385,000 kilometers, from Earth.) You can learn some-more about today’s flyby in this video of asteroid 2017 AG13 from Slooh.com, that includes sum on a space stone from Slooh Community Observatory astronomer Eric Edelman.

2017 AG13 is suspicion to be between 36 and 111 feet (11 to 34 meters) wide, according to astronomers during a Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For perspective, a intent that exploded over a Russian city of Chelyabinsk in Feb 2013, injuring some-more than 1,000 people, was suspicion to be about 65 feet (20 m) wide. [In Images: Potentially Dangerous Asteroids]

2017 AG13 was rescued by a University of Arizona-based Catalina Sky Survey on Saturday (Jan. 7). Initial observations of a intent uncover that it takes about 347 Earth days to round a sun, on an circuit most some-more elliptical than that of Earth: 2017 AG13 gets as tighten to a star as 0.55 astronomical units (AU), and as distant divided as 1.36 AU.

Orbit blueprint of asteroid 2017 AG13, that flew by Earth on Jan. 9, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

One AU is a normal stretch from Earth to a object — about 93 million miles, or 150 million km. Earth’s circuit is scarcely circular; a world never gets closer to a object than about 0.98 AU, or over divided than 1.02 AU or so.

Surprise flybys like a one only achieved by 2017 AG13 are distant from unprecedented. Millions of asteroids are suspicion to journey by space in Earth’s neighborhood, and astronomers have rescued only 15,000 of them to date.

The good news is that a immeasurable infancy of a behemoths — a ones able of causing repairs on a tellurian scale if they were to strike Earth — have been discovered, and nothing of them poses a hazard for a foreseeable future, NASA researchers have said.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on Space.com.


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