Saturday, 6 September 2014

Asteroid 2014 RC to flyby through Earth-Moon system on September 7, 2014

Newly discovered 20-meters wide (60 feet) asteroid named 2014 RC will enter the Earth - Moon system on Sunday, September 7, 2014, and flyby just 40 000 km (25 000 miles / 0.1 LD) from Earth. That's almost inside the orbit of geosynchronous satellites.
The asteroid comes just beyond the orbit of Mars and there is no danger of a collision with Earth. 2014 RC is the sixth asteroid this year that is known to have come within 100 000 km of Earth. The closest approach to our planet will happen around 18:18 UTC over New Zealand when the asteroid is expected to brighten to magnitude +11.5. It will be unobservable to the unaided eye. However, amateur astronomers with small telescopes might glimpse the fast-moving appearance of this near-Earth asteroid. 2014 RC was discovered on August 31 at magnitude +19 by the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona, and independently detected the next night by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope, located on the summit of Haleakalā on Maui, Hawaii. While the asteroid will not impact Earth, its orbit will bring it back to our planet's neighborhood in the future. The asteroid's future motion will be closely monitored, but no future threatening Earth encounters have been identified.

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