A small asteroid will pass close to Earth on Sunday

Sunday, September 7th, 2014 5:20:04 by
RC 2014 asteroid

An asteroid about 20 meters in diameter, discovered a few days ago and called RC 2014, will pass close to Earth on Sunday. Near means about 34,000 kilometers above the planet, ten times closer than the Moon, following a path going lower height than the geostationary orbit (36,000 km) in which many meteorological satellites operate. Poses no threat to Earth or to those satellites, NASA has said. On Sunday, at 20.18 hours peninsular, the celestial object passes over New Zealand.

The 2014 RC was discovered on Aug. 31 by Celeste Tracking System Catalina, Arizona (USA) and, independently, one night later, the Pan- Starrs telescope 1, Hawaii. Astronomers have estimated the size of the object, these approximate 20 meters, by its brightness. To get an idea: the meteorite that exploded in unexpectedly on 15 February last year on the Russian city of Chelyabinsk would measure about 17 meters; spent a few hours later near Earth, about 27,700 kilometers of its surface, Asteroid 2012 DA14, this perfectly planned and monitored, about 45 meters in diameter.

In its passage near the Earth surface, the RC 2014 is a dark, invisible to the naked eye , but can be seen even with telescopes of amateur astronomers, the space agency says. The asteroid will return in the future, given the orbit that follows, to the vicinity of Earth, but experts have not identified yet dangerous encounters.

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