Asteroid Makes the Closest Earth Flyby a Space Rock Has Ever Survived

A newly uncovered vehicle-sized asteroid just built the closest-known flyby to Earth without having hitting our earth.

On Sunday (Aug. sixteen), the asteroid, at first labeled ZTF0DxQ and now formally known to astronomers as 2020 QG, swooped by Earth at a mere one,830 miles (2,950 kilometers) absent. That offers 2020 QG the title of closest asteroid flyby at any time recorded that didn’t stop with the space rock’s demise. 

It is the closest known, non-impacting asteroid, NASA officers explained to

The flyby wasn’t envisioned and took numerous by surprise. In fact, the Palomar Observatory didn’t detect the zooming asteroid until about 6 hours right after the object’s closest technique. “The asteroid approached undetected from the direction of the sunlight,” Paul Chodas, the director of NASA’s Centre for Near Earth Object Scientific tests, told Business Insider. “We didn’t see it coming.”

“Yesterday’s near technique is [the] closest on history,” Chodas explained to Business Insider. “If you price reduction a number of known asteroids that have really impacted our earth.”

The near flyby was also a rapid just one, as 2020 QG swooped in the vicinity of Earth at a blistering 27,600 mph (44,four hundred kph). The object is about the dimension of a compact vehicle, perhaps about ten to 20 toes (three to 6 meters) in diameter. 

According to the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Centre, 2020 QG flew over the Pacific Ocean, much east of Australia, during its near technique. To examine the daredevil asteroid for your self, you can check out NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s small-physique database browser here. 

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