The Asteroid That we Barely Touched

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2011 MDi s an Apollo asteroid that this evening passed relatively close to Earth’s surface — at a distance of about 12,000 kilometers (7,500 mi), roughly 1/32 the distance to the Moon— at around 17:00 UTC on June 27, 2011.

Although the object was initially believed to be space junk, subsequent observations confirmed that it was an asteroid

The asteroid 2011 MD, named by astronomers, is an object of modest size, with a radius that can vary from 5 to 20 meters. Of objects so I go quite frequently near the Earth, but the great news is that now the technology exists to provide for their passage.
Until recently, such small objects could be observed only on the night of their closest approach: even a few days of their arrival, they were exchanged as space junk that is as artificial satellites have fallen into disuse or Shuttle pieces scattered here and there. MD 2011 have seen well in advance of the new technology is the result of observations combined with monitoring of the capillaries more LINEAR past of near-Earth object discovery team, a team of astrophysicists working in Socorro, New Mexico.
The asteroid is on a trajectory similar to that of the Earth around the Sun, but an orbital analysis indicates that there is no possibility that, indeed, could strike our planet. And, anyway, if an object the size of the MD 2011 should enter the atmosphere of the Earth, it burns already a few thousand kilometers above the earth: its impact would have created not only a wonderful choreographic effect of contrails and bright sparks. You’d think it’s a shame that touches only.
Figure 2 shows the trajectory of the asteroid from the point of view of the Sun MD 2011 will reach its closest point to Earth to rather extreme southern latitudes (in fact, the asteroid will be seen only from the southern hemisphere).
On average, it is expected that an object of this size come so close to our planet every 6 years. For a short time, this night and the next two, may be bright enough to be seen with a telescope of modest size.

 

Emily Baldwin of Astronomy Now said that there was no threat of collision, and should the asteroid enter Earth’s atmosphere, it would “mostly burn up in a brilliant fireball, possibly scattering a few meteorites”, causing no likely harm to life or property on the ground

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