Space shuttle-sized asteroid 2013 XY8 to fly past earth on Dec. 11

December 11, 2013 by Universe Today
Asteroid 2013 XY8 imaged on 2013, December 10, 2013. Credit: E. Guido, N. Howes and M. Nicolini/Remanzacco Observatory.

A newly-discovered asteroid about the size of a space shuttle will fly past Earth on December 11, 2013 at a very safe distance of 760,000 kilometers (470,000 miles). The closest approach of Asteroid 2013 XY8 will be 11:14 UT, and its size is estimated between 31 – 68 meters. This asteroid is zipping along at about 14 kilometers per second, and of course at about 2 lunar distances away, there is no danger of this asteroid hitting Earth. The asteroid was discovered on Dec. 7 by the team at the Catalina Sky Survey, and our friends Ernesto Guido, Nick Howes and Martino Nicolini from the Remanzacco Observatory have provided a follow-up image of the asteroid, taken just this morning.

You can see an animation of it here, and more information at their website.

And as usual with close passing asteroids, the Virtual Telescope Project will is offering a live, online event sharing real-time images of 2013 XY8 with live commentary by their science staff. "It will be a nice opportunity to spy this 40 meter large asteroid moving across the stars," said Gianluca Masi from the Virtual Telescope Project.

The feed is live now, and you can watch below:

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Explore further: Newly found asteroid buzzes Earth

Related Stories

Newly found asteroid buzzes Earth

May 29, 2012

A newly found space rock will give Earth a close shave on May 29, passing by at a distance of just 14,440 kilometers (8,950 miles). That distance puts the small asteroid, named 2012 KT42, in the top ten list of closest asteroid ...

Big and Bright Asteroid to Pass by Earth June 14

June 14, 2012

An unusually large and bright near-Earth asteroid was recently discovered and it will make its closest approach to Earth on June 14 at about 23:10 UTC. The object is so bright, the Slooh Observatory will attempt to have a ...

Asteroid 2012 TC4 to buzz Earth on October 12

October 12, 2012

Asteroid 2012 TC4 will give Earth a relatively close shave on October 12, 2012, passing at just a quarter of the distance to the orbit of the Moon. Discovered by Pan-STARRS observatory in Hawaii just last week on October ...

Asteroid 2013 TV135: A reality check

October 18, 2013

( —Newly discovered asteroid 2013 TV135 made a close approach to Earth on Sept. 16, when it came within about 4.2 million miles (6.7 million kilometers). The asteroid is initially estimated to be about 1,300 feet ...

Video: Near-miss by asteroid 2013 NJ

November 27, 2013

Earlier today the near-Earth asteroid 2013 NJ sailed by, coming as close as 2.5 lunar distances—about 960,000 km/596,500 miles.

Recommended for you

Getting into the flow on the International Space Station

December 1, 2015

Think about underground water and gas as they filter through porous materials like soil and rock beds. On Earth, gravity forces water and gas to separate as they flow through the ground, cleaning the water and storing it ...

Exiled exoplanet likely kicked out of star's neighborhood

December 1, 2015

A planet discovered last year sitting at an unusually large distance from its star - 16 times farther than Pluto is from the sun - may have been kicked out of its birthplace close to the star in a process similar to what ...

Cassini mission provides insight into Saturn

December 1, 2015

Scientists have found the first direct evidence for explosive releases of energy in Saturn's magnetic bubble using data from the Cassini spacecraft, a joint mission between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian ...

Timing a sextuple quasar

December 1, 2015

Quasars are galaxies with massive black holes at their cores around which vast amounts of energy are being radiated. Indeed, so much light is emitted that the nucleus of a quasar is much brighter than the rest of the entire ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.