A car-sized asteroid discovered over the weekend orbited Earth, flying over our planet at a distance that rivals the orbits of some high-flying satellites. The discovered asteroid 2020 OY4 becomes the third-largest asteroid this year, which flew close to Earth.
Asteroid 2020 OY4 was first detected on Sunday and approached Earth. According to the European Space Agency, he flew to Earth at a speed of about 44,600 km / h. An asteroid just under 3 m wide does not pose a threat to the planet. However, it approached the flight path of geosynchronous satellites, which means that the asteroid flew pretty close to Earth.
A tiny, 3 metre asteroid called 2020 OY4 skimmed past Earth just a few hours ago, passing within the orbit of satellites in the geostationary ring☄️
— ESA Operations (@esaoperations) July 28, 2020
This NASA data video shows the locations of asteroid 2020 OY4 and Earth during a close flyby of the asteroid on July 28, 2020.
Estimates from ESA’s Center for Near-Earth Objects and NASA’s Asteroid Watch differ in the exact distance of 2020 OY4.
NASA stated that the closest distance of the asteroid’s approach to Earth is about 41,400 km and is located outside the ring of geosynchronous satellites at 35,786 km above the Earth’s equator. The ESA Asteroid Tracking Center has established a range of about 35,170 km or directly inside the satellite orbit ring.
Of course, there was no danger to our planet.
Astrophysicist Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project in Ceccano, Italy
This image of asteroid 2020 OY4 (arrowed) by Gianluca Masi from the Virtual Telescope project was captured on July 27, 2020, the day before the asteroid’s close approach to Earth.
In the image, the asteroid appears as a bright dot on a sea of black stripes with lines of stars.
The telescope tracked the rapid apparent motion of the asteroid; this is why the stars show long trails, while the asteroid appears as a bright point of light in the center of the image, indicated by an arrow.