‘Potentially Hazardous Asteroid’ Due to Fly Near Earth on June 8

'Potentially Hazardous Asteroid' Due to Fly Near Earth on June 8

A “potentially hazardous asteroid” of enormous size is due to fly near Earth on June 8, going at a speed of 31,000 mph. According to NASA, it is believed that the Near Earth Asteroid 2014 HQ 124, which has now earned the nickname “The Beast” and was detected in April, has an estimated distance of over 1066 feet.

It will speed by the Earth at a troublesome expanse of only three lunar distances away. While it is not uncommon to have asteroids go by Earth at barely outside the moon’s orbit, it is much less common to discover a prior unknown celestial body of that dimension fly so nearby.  According to NASA, the asteroid is inclined to the horizon of the solar system by just over 25 degrees and is currently at about -71 degrees inclination.

It will be out of reach of all but the most southern of telescopes. On June 6, the asteroid will lighten up to about magnitude 13.8 and should be able to be located in the faint constellation Horologium, which is in the southern sky. The nearest approach to Earth will occur on June 8 and NEA 2014 HQ 124 should cross over the cosmic equator and then become a northern hemisphere entity. It will probably have an elongation of around 20 degrees from the Sun.

However the asteroid will most likely become lost visually in astronomical twilight during the nearest approach to Earth, but it can be seen online. Its flyby will be aired via the Slooh space website listed at the bottom of this page.  They will begin airing coverage live on June 5th beginning at 2:30 PM EDT (U.S. Time). Slooh will be broadcasting from Australia and it will be live.

Or if readers prefer, the feed will be embedded into this article and they can watch it right here at the Guardian Liberty Voice if this is easier for anyone. It is right below this paragraph:

Viewers will be able to watch everything for free from either website. The image feed will be complemented with discussions held by various astronomers and experts on global catastrophes. Anyone wanting to follow on Twitter can use the hashtag #Sloohbeast.

NASA and Slooh have recently created a partnership in hopes to involve other scientists who are not astronomers to come in and help track and watch for NEA’s by making use of Slooh’s many observatories. As members of Slooh, regular scientists can have the distinctive opportunity to be able gain access to expert telescope equipment at world class sites and be able to aid in helping find asteroids that could be dangerous to the world’s population.

NEA 2014 HQ 124 has opened the eyes once more to the very real dangers of asteroid impacts and the importance of finding and being able to track the orbits of asteroids. It is estimated that even though 90 percent of the 100 meter giant sized asteroids have been discovered, only 30 percent of the 140 meter enormous sized NEAs have been found, with less than one percent of the 30 meter sized NEAs having been found and even at that size, an asteroid could do major damage to a city.

The potentially hazardous asteroid is due to fly near Earth on or around June 8, going at a speed of 31,000 mph and has earned itself the nickname “The Beast.”

By Kimberly Ruble

Sources:

Slooh Space Website

International Business Times

Scientific American News

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