An asteroid the size of an SUV car flew just 2,950 kilometres from Earth, which is lower than almost all artificial satellites in orbit.
Asteroid 2020 QG flew near Earth at a record close distance. It was discovered only after passing the point of closest approach. This is reported by NASA.
Asteroid 2020 QG, which received the serial number ZTF0DxQ, with a diameter of 3-6 meters flew at a speed of about 12.3 km / s in 2,950 kilometres over the South Indian Ocean on Sunday, August 16.
“It’s really cool to see a small asteroid come by this close, because we can see the Earth’s gravity dramatically bend its trajectory,” says Paul Chodas, director of the Center for NEA Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
“Our calculations show that this asteroid got turned by 45 degrees or so as it swung by our planet.”
The asteroid was discovered by the observatory a few hours after the closest approach to Earth. The space object posed no threat even if it entered the Earth’s atmosphere.
“It’s quite an accomplishment to find these tiny close-in asteroids in the first place, because they pass by so fast,” Chodas added.
“There’s typically only a short window of a couple of days before or after close approach when this small of an asteroid is close enough to Earth to be bright enough but not so close that it moves too fast in the sky to be detected by a telescope.”
Recall, on August 5, a space body the size of a football field flew at a minimum distance from the Earth.
It was also reported that astronomers have discovered a new type of mysterious space bodies in the solar system.