Sunday, March 22, 2020

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid to Miss Earth on Friday


A potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA), known as 2012 XA133, is expected to fly by the Earth on Friday, March 27, at around 3:52 UTC. The object will miss our planet with a relative velocity of 23.7 km/s, at a safe distance of about 17.4 lunar distances (LD), what corresponds to 6.68 million kilometers.

2012 XA133 is an Apollo-type asteroid first observed on December 11, 2012 by the Mount Lemmon Survey (MLS), which utilizes a 1.52 m cassegrain reflector telescope at Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona. MLS is one of the most prolific surveys when it comes to discovering near-Earth objects (NEOs). So far, it has detected more than 50,000 minor planets.

According to astronomers, 2012 XA133 has an estimated diameter of around 235 meters. The space rock has an absolute magnitude of 20.9 and a semimajor axis of approximately 1.33 AU. It takes it about 1.53 years to fully orbit the sun.

2012 XA133 visits the Earth relatively often and its closest approach took place on November 21, 1989, when it swooshed by our planet at a distance of about 6.62 LD (2.54 million kilometers). The asteroid is also known to make close flybys of Mercury and Venus.

On March 22, there were 2,018 PHAs detected, however 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 nearly 22,500 NEOs. Only this month, 71 such objects have been detected.

2 comments:

  1. Can't be more enthusiastic about that shit. Let it burn, baby, let it burn!!

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