Science and Nature

Astronomers capture pictures of Asteroid that rushed-past extremely close to Earth

Astronomers capture pictures of Asteroid that rushed-past extremely close to Earth thumbnail

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: October 24, 2020 2:22:19 pm

Asteroid 2020 UA (Source: Marian Urbaník/Twitter)

It’s quite a usual phenomenon of various asteroids hurtling past the Earth every now and then. Astronomers captured the movement of an asteroid named 2020 UA touted as one of the Near-Earth Object or Near-Earth Asteroid through their ‘Virtual Telescope Project’. After the event, the excitement was so palpable that these astronomers have said it to be one of the Memorable events.

The asteroid was first discovered by a group of scientists on October 16 through the Mt. Lemmon survey when it was at its nearest distance to the Earth while it achieved the farthest possible distance on October 21. Moreover, the asteroid was very much in the vicinity of orbit that has many satellites place in it. In the hindsight, it was few thousand miles from Geosynchronous Orbit which usually carries man-made satellites.

The asteroid reached a minimum distance of 46,000 km from the earth which is almost equivalent to that of the 12 per cent distance between the Earth and the Moon. The speed at which it whizzed past our planet 28,000 Kmph or 7.8Km/s.

This celestial event was witnessed on Tuesday evening and on Wednesday in Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia. As astronomers were able to detect this heavenly body prior to the time, it will rush past the Earth, a special online live streaming session was also held providing viewers with the interesting sight of the Asteroid.

Scientists also concluded that the size of the asteroid was from 5.9 to 13 metres and it did not pose any risk pertaining to collision with the Earth. Like many asteroids, it would have fragmented into pieces eventually catching fire if it was to enter Earth’s atmosphere.

To put things in perspective, as per NASA, NEOs are small celestial or heavenly bodies whose orbit brings them in close proximity to Earth leading them to make a closer approach towards our planet. Besides that, NASA also expects them to be crucial in deciphering the studies regarding the formation of the Solar System 4.6 billion years ago as these NEOs are mostly comets and asteroids consisting of debris from the Solar System.

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