Interesting Asteroid News
Small Asteroid to Safely Fly by Earth
April 28th, 2020
A relatively small asteroid, about 4 to 8 meters in diameter, will fly safely past Earth just before 3pm today, Apr. 28 (Eastern U.S. time). NASA is tracking the object, but orbit calculations ruled out any chance that the near-Earth object could pose a threat to our planet.
A small object, presumed to be a tiny asteroid, has been discovered in a distant orbit about the Earth, a highly unusual circumstance, since asteroids normally orbit the Sun. The new “mini-moon” has been given the asteroid designation 2020 CD3, but in view of its strange orbit, there is a chance that the object is an old lunar spacecraft or a small discarded rocket stage. Based on its brightness, 2020 CD3 is very small, no more than 1 to 2 meters (3 to 6 feet) in size. The discovery was made on February 15, 2020 by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey, one of the most productive asteroid-searching programs currently in operation. [ Video Clip ]
On the evening of Thursday, July 24, a football-field-sized asteroid passed close to the Earth with very little warning. The asteroid, designated 2019 OK, approached Earth at about 40,400 miles (65,000 kilometers) above the surface, one fifth the distance to the Moon. Other known asteroids have passed by closer, and a few very small asteroids have even impacted our atmosphere just after discovery, but none have been as large: 2019 OK is estimated to be 195-425 feet (60-130 meters) in size.
Astronomers have spotted an unusual asteroid with the shortest "year" known for any asteroid. The rocky body, dubbed 2019 LF6, is about a kilometer in size and circles the sun roughly every 151 days. In its orbit, the asteroid swings out beyond Venus and, at times, comes closer in than Mercury, which circles the sun every 88 days. 2019 LF6 is one of only 20 known "Atira" asteroids, whose orbits fall entirely within Earth's.