The Earth is about to have yet another nearby encounter with an asteroid, which is named 2014 RC. This one will happen on Sunday, Sept. 7, when the newest space rock, which was just discovered a few days ago, will whiz by the planet. It will fly by at a range that is closer than the Moon and several satellites but NASA stated the asteroid will not have any chance of hitting the Earth.
The asteroid, which has been nicknamed the Pitbull because of its small size, will go by the Earth at about 2:18 p.m. EDT on Sunday. At that time, the space rock will cross over New Zealand and fly just inside the orbit of the geo-synchronous communication and weather satellites which are looping around the planet around 22,000 miles above the Earth’s surface, stated NASA. During its nearby pass, 2014 RC will be about 21,125 miles from the planet. That will be closer to Earth than the Moon.
Asteroid 2014 RC was originally found the night of Aug. 31 by the Catalina Sky Survey located in Arizona and also detected the very next night by the Pan-STARRS telescope, located in Hawaii, explained officials from NASA. The space agency also stated that the space rock would be extremely dim when it passed by the Earth and that any observers on the ground would not be able to see it with the naked eye, but if weather was to permit, amateur astronomers might be able to get a glimpse of the asteroid through telescopes if they are lucky.
When it reaches its approach, the 60 foot across space rock will speed by around 25,000 miles from the midpoint of Earth. The average range of the planet (which means the distance from the middle of the Earth to its exterior) is around 3,960 miles.
As was stated above, the swift moving little asteroid is not any sort of hazard Earth or even to satellites that happen to be going around the planet. In fact, the space rock might even help give astronomers a distinctive chance to get to learn more about asteroids due to the fact it will be flying so nearby to the Earth, explained NASA to the media. Officials of the space agency have also plotted out 2014 RC’s upcoming orbits in order to see if the near-Earth object could possibly present any sort of threat to the planet in the future.
NASA officials also stated that even though Asteroid 2014 RC will not affect the planet this time around, its trajectory will cause it to come back around to the Earth and it’s neighborhood in the future. The space rock’s future projection will have to be carefully monitored, but at the present time no future threatening orbits aimed directly at the Earth had been identified. Besides the 2014 RC, astronomers have been able to identify over 10,000 near-Earth objects in the solar system as of the present time.
The planet will have yet another nearby encounter with an asteroid on Sunday, Sept. 7, when the newest space rock that has been discovered will whiz by the Earth. It will fly by at a range that is closer than several satellites but NASA stated the asteroid will not have any chance of hitting the Earth.
By Kimberly Ruble