Prepare! An asteroid will go from "touching" the planet Earth -


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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Prepare! An asteroid will go from "touching" the planet Earth

An asteroid will go from "skimming" the planet Earth. The space rock, baptized as Asteroid 3200 Phaeton , is five kilometers in diameter and will pass to "only" 10 million kilometers of the blue planet, this next December 16.

The passage of the object, called Asterioide 3200 Phaethon in homage to Faeton , character of Greek mythology that almost burns the planet earth, will allow quite precise observations from the observatories of Arecibo (in Puerto Rico) and Goldstone (California) and that, according to NASA, "they will be excellent for obtaining a detailed 3D model of the asteroid".

The asteroid will pass 10 million kilometers from our planet, a distance approximately 26 times greater than that which separates us from the Moon, which is 384,400 kilometers from Earth. However, although it seems a lot of distance that separates us, in NASA's spatial terms, it will be too close and could generate some difficulties in general. According to the information that is handled, the Phaethon has been disintegrating in a slow way, and only the residue will reach the Earth. Obviously it will generate atmospheric and tidal changes.

Scientists working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have decided to take advantage of this opportunity to obtain a detailed 3D model of the aforementioned asteroid, which has already been determined to have a particularly irregular shape.

Phaeton 3200 was discovered on October 11, in 1983, by IRAS (Infrared Astronomical Satellite) from its space observatory, international project. In 2017 he had his last approach to our planet earth. According to NASA's calculations, the Phaeton will only return to Earth in this way or more in 2050. On December 14, 2093 , it will pass only 1.9 million kilometers from our planet. that, according to the space agency, does not mean that we are reached. (3200) Phaethon is part of the Apollo asteroids, discovered on October 11, 1983 by IRAS.

The asteroid 3200 Phaeton (PHA, for its acronym in English), is considered the third largest "possibly harmful asteroid", after the 53319 1999 JM8 (with about seven kilometers long) and 4183 Cuno (with about 5.6 kilometers ), the Phaeton may be responsible for meteor showers of the Gemini, which can be observed between December 13 and 14 every year.

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