How to see a near-Earth asteroid zoom closer to the earth than the moon

The two red lines show the asteroid 2018 VX1, which visits Earth's neighborhood on Saturday.

Picture credits: Gianluca Masi / Virtual Telescope Project

Three chunky asteroids will be zooming through the earth this weekend, and one of them will be closer to our planet than the moon.

On Saturday (November 10), the near-Earth asteroid 2018 VX1 will be at a distance of approximately 380,000 kilometers from Earth. This is closer than the moon, which is about 384,400 kilometers away as it circles the earth.

While this space rock meeting is near, it poses no threat to the Earth, said astrophysicist Gianluca Masi, founder and director of the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy, which will be broadcasting the Sky Show online from 1pm. EST (18:00 UTC) on Saturday. [Black Marble Images: Earth at Night]

"There is no risk of impact [on Earth]"Said Masi Live Science." While one of them is basically so close to the moon, this distance is still very large. "

The two other asteroids do not venture so close to the earth, but still attract the attention of scientists. These include the 2018 VS1 asteroid, which is 8:03 million kilometers (1.38 million kilometers) off the Earth – nearly four times as far from Earth as the Moon – at 9:03 am EST (14:03 UTC ).

Asteroid 2018 VSI has a diameter between 12 and 28 m.

The 2018 VR1 asteroid is expected to fly from Earth at 9:19 pm EST (14:19 UTC) on Saturday. This asteroid is even farther away – about 5 million kilometers from Earth. This near-Earth asteroid has a diameter between 13 and 30 m.

The people here on Earth will be able to see the star of the show – Asteroid 2018 VX1 – online at about 1:20 pm. EST (18:20 UTC), "the moment of its minimum distance from us," Masi said. This asteroid was discovered a few days ago, on November 4, by scientists at Mount Lemmon Survey near Tucson, Arizona. Two days later, the Minor Planet Center announced the discovery and estimated the diameter of the asteroid at between 26 and 59 feet (8 and 18 m).

On November 8, the virtual telescope captured the photograph of the 2018 VX1 asteroid shown above with a single exposure of 600 seconds.

"The telescope tracked the apparent motion of the asteroid, so stars show the long ways," Masi said. "The asteroid looks like a sharp point of light in the center of the picture, marked by two red lines."

Originally published on Live Science.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.