An asteroid the size of a bus passed our planet on Sunday (October 17).
Asteroid 2021 TG14 crossed the Earth at a distance of about 250,000 km. This is good for you moon, which orbits at an average distance of about 385,000 km.
NASA is always interested in close-ups like this, only if astronomers can get valuable time from the telescope to get a small close-up view of a small world. asteroids They are remnants of the early solar system, when our neighborhood was a collection of small, frozen and stony bodies (before the formation of the planets).
NASA has freely published All the orbital parameters of the object for public viewing. agency Planetary Defense Coordination Office Works with other government agencies and a network of partner telescopes to observe potentially threatening objects, but this asteroid is not one of them. Scientists have found no imminent threats to our planet.
Related: Watch the massive growth of asteroids near Earth discovered by NASA (video)
Coincidentally, this approach occurs when asteroids collide again with the news in both fact and fiction. It wasn’t until Saturday (October 16th) that NASA launched a program called Lucy’s Mission. This will eventually focus on asteroids in Jupiter’s orbit, known as the Trojans. These asteroids have not been visited before.
The agency is also in the middle of an asteroid sampling mission known as Osiris Rex (Active – Spectral Interpretation – Resource Identification – Security – Regolith Explorer). Its sampled capsule is scheduled to return to Earth in 2023 carrying small fragments of an asteroid near Earth called Bennu. NASA’s own mission mission will also be launched in 2022 to closely study a metallic asteroid.
These new missions are just the latest in a long line of spacecraft that have been influenced by small bodies in our solar system, some of them a collection of samples along the way.
In Fiction, Netflix’s Black Comedy “Don’t Look” will be released in December, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill. The film follows a long line of fantasy asteroids Earth Threat and some cynical responses from White House officials (and scientists) to the impending issue.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook social networking site.