Meteors about 3 m long are classified by NASA as the closest flying objects to Earth this year.
2020 OY4 in a photo taken from Earth. Photo: Newsweek.
The OY4 2020 meteorite, which flies closest to Earth at 12:32 p.m. on July 28, Hanoi time, is 0,00028 astronomical units, equivalent to 41,400 kilometers, according to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies. (CNEOS) by NASA. This distance is extremely close astronomically, equal to 11% of the average distance between the Earth and the Moon.
The European Space Agency (ESA) calculates the flight speed of OY4 2020 at about 44,600 km / h. This asteroid is about the size of a vehicle with a diameter of 2.3 – 5.2 m and has no risk of colliding with the Earth, but intersects the flight path of geosynchronous orbital satellites (GSO).
ESA estimate slightly different from CNEOS on the exact distance between OY4 2020 and Earth when flying closest. With NASA data, 2020 OY4 flies out of a GSO orbit (35,786 km) above the equator of the Earth. But ESA’s meteorite tracking center recorded a distance of 35,170 km, just inside the GSO orbit.
Astrophysicist Gianluca Masi working in the virtual telescope project in Ceccano, Italy, taking photos of OY4 2020 on July 27. In the photo, this asteroid looks like a small bright dot between countless white streaks of stars. “Telescopes track fast movement of meteorites. That’s why the stars look like long light streaks,” Masi explains.
A meteorite as large as 2020, OY4, usually flies over the Earth every few months. In June 2019, a asteroid larger than 2020 OY4 a little bit fell to Earth but broke down in the atmosphere.
(According to Space)