The asteroid is getting closer to Earth than the orbit of many communications satellites


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – A recently discovered asteroid the size, if not the shape, of a bus is believed to have safely over Earth on Thursday.

The asteroid came just over 13,000 miles from Earth, well below many communications satellites orbiting the planet, scientists said. The closest approach was to take place Thursday morning over the southeastern Pacific Ocean.

The asteroid will not be back in the vicinity of Earth until 2041.The margin (August 29):“Finally some good news”: an asteroid is heading towards the eve of the presidential election

Scientists estimated the asteroid to be between 15 and 30 feet in diameter – the size of a school bus, according to some press reports. By asteroid standards, it’s considered puny. Asteroids this size hit Earth’s atmosphere and burn once a year or two, said Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. There could be as many as 100 million of these little asteroids out there.

The real threat is posed by considerably larger asteroids. The good news is that these are easier to spot much earlier than a few days.

Asteroid 2020 SW, as it is known, was discovered last Friday by the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona at Tucson.


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