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House-Sized Asteroid to Swoosh by Earth on Saturday

7 Dec 2017, 23:04 UTC
House-Sized Asteroid to Swoosh by Earth on Saturday
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A newly discovered house-sized asteroid is slated to fly by Earth on Saturday, December 9 at 21:45 UTC. The near-Earth object (NEO), designated 2017 WV12, will pass by our planet at a safe distance of about 3.44 lunar distances (LD), what corresponds to 1.32 million kilometers.2017 WV12 is an Apollo-type asteroid that was first observed on November 19 by the Pan-STARRS 1 (PS1) telescope at the summit of Haleakala on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) is an astronomical survey consisting of astronomical cameras, telescopes and a computing facility, surveying the sky for moving objects on a continual basis.According to astronomers, 2017 WV12 has an estimated diameter between 16 and 49 meters, and an absolute magnitude of 25.4. The object has a semimajor axis of 1.53 AU and an orbital period of 1.9 years. On Saturday, it will whiz by Earth with a relative velocity of 10.6 km/s.Besides close approach on Saturday, 2017 WV12 is also expected to fly by the Moon on the same day at a distance of approximately 3.63 LD, or 1.39 million kilometers.On December 7, there were 1,869 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) detected, however none of them is ...

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