NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), a spacecraft that made the most comprehensive survey to date of asteroids and comets, has returned its first set of test images in preparation for a renewed mission.
new, “potentially hazardous” asteroid has been discovered by one of NASA’s recently reactivated spacecraft – and it’s headed in Earth’s direction.
The new asteroid, called 2013 YP139, was spotted by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), and marks the spacecraft’s first discovery since being resurrected last year.
According to the Telegraph, the asteroid is still 27 million miles (43 million km) away from Earth, but with a diameter of nearly half a mile (0.4 miles, to be precise), an impact with our planet would cause significant damage. NASA estimates any asteroid with a diameter greater than 0.5 miles could create worldwide consequences upon impact.
(0.4 miles, to be precise)
20 - Asteroid takes out star - Okay, so the asteroid doesn’t really take out a star (because we all know who would win that fight), but it will pass in front of it and make it disappear from view. The asteroid 163 Erigone is 45 miles wide and will pass in front of Regulus, a star in the Leo constellation. For about 12 seconds, the asteroid’s shadow will completely obscure the star. This is a very rare occurrence and unfortunately very few will get the opportunity to see it. The center of the path will begin in New York City and it will move up into Ontario.
- See more at: www.iflscience.com...
reply to post by gardener
I do believe they are different bodies. The 45 mile one is gonna stay in the belt but block the sun. The 0.4 mile has potential to hit earth or the moon within a hundred years.
On 2004 Jul 01 UT, the 72 km diameter asteroid (163) Erigone will occult a 11.7 mag star in the constellation Ophiuchus for observers along a path across Australia.
In the case of an occultation, the combined light of the asteroid and the star will drop by 1.4 mag to 12.8 mag (the magnitude of the asteroid) for at most 6.0 seconds.