Newly discovered asteroid to make surprisingly close zip past Earth

January 27, 2012SPACEAn asteroid will pass by the Earth on Friday in something of a cosmic near-miss, making its closest approach at about 1600 GMT. The asteroid, estimated to be about 11m (36ft) in diameter, was first detected on Wednesday. At its closest, the space rock – named 2012 BX34 – will pass within about 60,000km of Earth – less than a fifth of the distance to the Moon. Astronomers stress that there is no cause for concern. “It’s one of the closest approaches recorded,” said Gareth Williams, associate director of the US-based Minor Planet Center. “It makes it in to the top 20 closest approaches, but it’s sufficiently far away… that there’s absolutely no chance of it hitting us,” he told the BBC. The asteroid’s path makes it the closest space-rock to pass by the Earth since object 2011 MD in June 2011. Earlier estimates put the asteroid’s closest distance at as little as 20,000km, near the distance at which geostationary satellites reside, but observations by observatories overnight showed it will pass at a more comfortable distance. Although the asteroid will not be visible to the naked eye, Dr Williams said that keen backyard astronomers could get a look. –BBC
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9 Responses to Newly discovered asteroid to make surprisingly close zip past Earth

  1. Maverick says:

    Who were bragging they had 90 % of all hazardous NEO’s mapped and listed ? Well, here’s one of the 10 % unchartered ones, detected only two days ago, LOL !

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    • You’re right. It exposes some vunerabilities in the monitoring system and this year could be one of more such surprises. A 2 day notice is barely enough time to evacuate a city, let alone deflect a potential collision.

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    • Irene C says:

      I was thinking the same thing. I really don’t worry about the close calls they are monitoring, it’s the ones they don’t see that concern me.

      Maranatha

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    • Face Crusher says:

      You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about…

      It took me all of 15 seconds to find the NASA page that defines “Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs).” PHAs are larger than ~0.2 km (0.1 mile) and approach close enough to present a potential hazard but not a current hazard. Do the math… 0.1 mile is 528ft in diameter. This one they just discovered (2012 BX34) is only 36ft in diameter, less than 1/10 the size needed to be classified as a PHA.

      A Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) is an asteroid with an orbit such that it has the potential to make close approaches to the Earth and a size large enough to cause significant regional damage in the event of impact.

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      • Elizabeth says:

        @ Facecrusher- We don’t talk to eachother on this site with such arrogance and a flat out jackass attitude, this isn’t a Yahoo forum. Your post makes no sense; just how are you correcting the previous 3 posts? Your post was about the definition of a PHA, the previous 3 discussed the hazards of the 10% of NEO that have not been discovered, and their potential to not be discovered until it’s too late. I believed Irene was questioning how they KNOW they have found 90%, which is an obvious question. You so arrogantly stated that you swiftly found the definition on NASA’s website of an asteroid that is potentionally a threat; I don’t see how you have corrected anyone. On this site, when we feel that someone has made an error or we question their post, we don’t make such nasty comments as ‘You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about’. Unless you work for NASA, I am sure you are not all knowing, and I assure you that the people on this site can find a webite for information in ‘all of 15 seconds’ as well. I have no doubt that Alvin has done far more research than you, anyway. I don’t care how long you have posting here, we are not a bunch of arrogant, self rightous people so full of hatred and self loathing that we have to speak to each other in such a manner; can you say the same for yourself? If that’s how you choose to communicate, there are plenty of other places to do it. Obviously Alvin believes in free speech, as he let your nasty comment be posted, but I do not sit by and watch some jerk talk to the people I consider ‘cyber-friends’ in such a manner. Besides, you didn’t correct anyone, your post had really nothing to do with the previous ones you found so incorrect.

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  2. Jeremy says:

    It’s gonna get worse unfortunately. They’ll get closer and closer until they start falling like figs.

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  3. yamkin says:

    183 Cuno Giant Asteroid Approaches The Earth On 20th May 2012
    http://tiny.cc/3k3gew (Translated)

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