A bus-sized asteroid created a harmless close pass by our earth on Sunday (Oct. 17).
Asteroid 2021 TG14 handed by Earth at a length of around 155,000 miles (250,000 km). That’s well inside the orbit of our moon, which orbits at an typical length of just about 239,000 miles (385,000 km).
NASA is constantly fascinated in close passes like this, just in situation astronomers can get some important telescope time for a uncommon shut-up glimpse of a small earth. Asteroids are leftover fragments from the early solar technique, when our community was a collection of icy and stony compact objects (before the planets were being formed).
NASA has freely posted all the orbital parameters of the item for the community to see. The agency’s Planetary Protection Coordination Business is effective with other governing administration companies and a community of associate telescopes to continue to keep an eye on probably threatening objects, but this asteroid isn’t really one particular of them. Scientists have located no imminent threats to our planet.
Connected: See the extraordinary enhance in around-Earth asteroids NASA has uncovered (online video)
Coincidentally, the approach is getting place as asteroids at the time again are hitting the news in both point and fiction. Just on Saturday (Oct. 16), NASA launched its Lucy mission that will eventually emphasis on asteroids in Jupiter’s orbit, regarded as Trojans. These asteroids have hardly ever been visited up near prior to.
The agency is also in the middle of an asteroid sample-return mission recognized as OSIRIS-REx (Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Source Identification-Stability-Regolith Explorer). Its sample return capsule is owing to come back to Earth in 2023 bearing bits of a in the vicinity of-Earth asteroid named Bennu. NASA’s Psyche mission will also launch in 2022 to review a metal asteroid up near.
These new missions are only the latest in a extensive line of spacecraft that have swung by modest bodies in our solar procedure, some selecting up samples along the way.
In fiction, the Netflix dark comedy “You should not Appear Up” will release in December, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill. The film follows a long line of fictional film asteroids threatening the Earth and catalogs some satirical responses by White Home officials (and researchers) to the impending issue.
Adhere to Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Adhere to us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.