8-meter-wide asteroid will pass close to Earth today

Jan 27, 2012 By Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today
Orbital parameters of Asteroid 2012 BX34 from JPL's Small Body Database.

A small asteroid will pass extremely close to Earth tomorrow (January 27, 2012). Named 2012 BX34, this 11 meter- (36 feet-) wide 8 meter- (26-foot-) space rock (astronomers have updated their estimates of the size) will skim Earth less than 60,000 km (37,000 miles, .0004 AU)>, at around 15:30 UTC, (10:30 am EST) according to the Minor Planet Center. The latest estimates have this small bus-sized asteroid it traveling at about about 8,900 meters/second (about 20,000 miles per hour). 2012 BX34 has been observed by the Catalina Sky Survey and the Mt. Lemmon Survey in Arizona, and the Magdalena Ridge Observatory in New Mexico, so its orbit is well defined and there is no risk of impact to Earth.

Via the @AsteroidWatch Twitter feed, scientists from JPL said “It wouldn’t get through our atmosphere intact even if it dared to try.”

Amateur in the right place and time could view this object, as it should be about magnitude 14 at the time of closest approach. Click here to see a current orbit diagram, and here to view the ephemeris data. Nick Howes, with the Faulkes Telescope Project said his team is hoping to observe and image the asteroid, — although they aren’t sure if they will be able — but we hope to share their images later.

Explore further: Comet Siding Spring whizzes past Mars

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Asteroid to Make Rare Close Flyby of Earth

Jan 24, 2008

Scientists are monitoring the orbit of asteroid 2007 TU24. The asteroid, believed to be between 150 meters (500 feet) and 610 meters (2,000 feet) in size, is expected to fly past Earth on Jan. 29, with its ...

Small asteroid to pass within Earth-Moon system Tuesday

Oct 11, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A small asteroid will fly past Earth early Tuesday within the Earth-moon system. The asteroid, 2010 TD54, will have its closest approach to Earth's surface at an altitude of about 45,000 kilometers ...

Astronomers continue to monitor asteroid Apophis

Mar 11, 2011

Asteroid Apophis continues to be an object of interest for astronomers. Even though the possibility of an Earth impact by the now-famous asteroid has been ruled out during its upcoming close encounter on April ...

NASA Scientists Get First Images of Earth Flyby Asteroid

Jan 28, 2008

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., have obtained the first images of asteroid 2007 TU24 using high-resolution radar data. The data indicate the asteroid is somewhat asymmetrical ...

Recommended for you

Comet Siding Spring whizzes past Mars

7 hours ago

A comet the size of a small mountain whizzed past Mars on Sunday, dazzling space enthusiasts with the once-in-a-million-years encounter.

NASA investigating deep-space hibernation technology

Oct 17, 2014

Manned missions to deep space present numerous challenges. In addition to the sheer amount of food, water and air necessary to keep a crew alive for months (or years) at a time, there's also the question ...

User comments : 0