Update at 3:45 p.m. ET: A webcast of the Asteroid 2023 BU Virtual Telescope Project is now scheduled 4:15 PM EST (2115 GMT) due to clouds.
A newly discovered asteroid will come very close to Earth this week.
Asteroid 2023 BU is between 12 and 28 feet (3.8 to 8.5 meters) across, and was discovered on Saturday (January 21) by astronomer Gennady Borisov at the Margo Observatory in Crimea. When it passes near Earth at its closest point on Thursday (January 26) at 4:17 PM EDT (2117 GMT), the space rock will be within 3% of the Earth’s mean.Moon A distance only 2,178 miles (3,506 kilometers) above Earth’s surface.
For comparison, most geostationary Satellites Orbit with a position of about 22,200 miles (35,800 km).
Most asteroids are not bright enough to see without a powerful telescope; Fortunately, you can watch asteroid 2023 BU makes its close encounter with our planet thanks to the Virtual Telescope Project. Astronomer Gianluca Massi will host a free live broadcast of the asteroid pass at www The project Location (Opens in a new tab) or YouTube channel (Opens in a new tab) On Thursday (January 26th) starting at 3:45 p.m. EDT (2045 GMT) After a short delay due to clouds at the project’s Ceccano observation site, Italy.
Related: Asteroids: Fun facts and information about these space rocks
The asteroid is currently in Ursa Major constellation. Due to its small size, asteroid 2023 BU is rather opaque at magnitude 19.15, but it may be visible through a powerful telescope operated by an experienced skywatcher.
Fortunately for those of us who aren’t veteran asteroid stalkers, the Virtual Telescope Project will stream it all. Asteroid 2023 BU will be a very close, yet safe, encounter with us, coming [within] Less than 10,000 km from the center of the Earth, about 25% of the distance of geostationary satellites,” Massey writes about the project. website (Opens in a new tab).
Asteroid 2023 BU is known as an Apollo-type asteroid, which means that its orbit intersects Earth’s orbit but spends most of its time far from the path of our planet, according to Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (Opens in a new tab)And It is based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. 2023 BU orbits the Sun every 425 days and will not pass close to our planet again until December 6, 2036.
While the asteroid 2023 BU will pass very close to a landIt is not classified as potentially dangerous. This is because its small size means it is more likely to disintegrate and burn Earth’s atmosphere.
Are you hoping to catch a glimpse of asteroid 2023 BU? Our guides are on The best telescopes And best binoculars It may help you get started on the path to the right optics. You can also check out our guides at The best cameras for astrophotography And The best lenses for astrophotography To start.
Editor’s note: If you manage to snap a photo of asteroid 2023 BU and would like to share it with Space.com readers, submit your photo(s), comments, name, and location to [email protected].
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