Asteroid 2020 HP6 will pass the Earth today about 120,000km away. It is no danger to us and is only 9m in diameter. It is one of 5 which pass the earth today – the largest is 148km in diameter and will be over 14.3 times the distance of the Moon away from us. Another 2 will pass by tomorrow night and 3 passed us by yesterday.
Now on the 29th …..at about 19:56 AEST there is a biggie coming but again no risk to our planet. Formerly known as 1998 OR2 it has been monitored for many years! It’s new name is asteroid 52768 and it about 2 km in diameter. It will pass by the earth about 6.3 million kms away travelling at just over 31,000 km/hr.
The asteroid orbits the Sun every 3 years and 8 months when it is furtherest from the Sun it also crosses Mars’ orbit.
The Arecibo telescope took these radio images on the 17th, 18, 19 April.
Asteroids are classified as potentially hazardous objects when their size is greater than 152.4m and comes within 8,046,720km of the Earth’s orbit.
In 2079 it will be 3.5 times closer to us so that is why it is important to gain more information each time it comes into range. This enables a more accurate calculation of its orbit.
It’s big but not the biggest to pass by the Earth – that one was the asteroid 3122 Florence (1981 ET3), which flew by on September 1, 2017.
The earliest precovery image is from data from the Digitised Sky Survey from Siding Spring Observatory using the UK Schmidt Telescope here at Coonabarabran back on 30 June 1987.