Update for 4:45 PM ET: The Virtual Telescope Project’s asteroid 2023 BU webcast is now scheduled 17:15 GMT (2215 GMT) because of the clouds.
A newly discovered asteroid will come very close to Earth this week.
Asteroid 2023 BU is 12 to 28 feet (3.8 to 8.5 meters) wide and was discovered by astronomer Gennadiy Borisov at the MARGO Observatory in Crimea on Saturday, January 21. When it passed near Earth at 4:17 PM EST (2117 GMT) on Thursday, January 26, the space rock averaged Earth-moon It is only 2,178 miles (3,506 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface.
For comparison, most geostationary satellites It is in orbit at an altitude of about 22,200 miles (35,800 km).
Most asteroids are not bright enough to be seen without a powerful telescope; luckily you can asteroid 2023 BU is in close contact with our planet thanks to the Virtual Telescope Project. Astronomer Gianluca Masi will host a free live broadcast of the asteroid’s transit from Earth. project website (opens in new tab) horse Youtube channel (opens in new tab) Starting Thursday, January 26 17:15 GMT (2215 GMT) after a short delay due to clouds at the project’s Ceccano observatory in Italy.
Related: Asteroids: fun facts and information about these space rocks
The asteroid is currently Ursa Major constellation. Due to its small size, the asteroid 2023 BU is quite faint at 19.15, but can be seen with a powerful telescope operated by an experienced skywatcher.
Fortunately for those of us who aren’t veteran asteroid hunters, the Virtual Telescope Project will broadcast everything. “Asteroid 2023 BU will have an extremely close but safe encounter with us. [within] Less than 10,000 km from the center of the earth, about 25% of the distance of geostationary satellites,” writes Masi. Web site (opens in new tab).
The asteroid 2023 BU is known as an Apollo-type asteroid; this means that its orbit intersects with that of Earth, but spends most of its time well outside of our planet’s path. Near Earth Object Studies Center (opens in new tab), It is based on NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. 2023 BU orbits the sun every 425 days and won’t pass near our planet until December 12. 6, 2036.
The asteroid 2023 BU will pass very close Soilis not categorized as potentially dangerous. This is because its small size means it will likely break apart and burn. earth atmosphere.
Hoping to take a look at the asteroid 2023 BU? Our guides on best telescopes and best binoculars can help you get started on the road to the right optic. You can also check out our guides at: The best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography to start.
Editor’s Note: If you manage to snap a photo of the asteroid 2023 BU and would like to share it with Space.com’s readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to: email@example.com.
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