Double Asteroid Approaching Earth

One of the biggest space rocks will make its close approach to Earth on May 25, 2019. Classified as a potentially hazardous object, this asteroid is expected to flyby our planet at a speed of 21.5 km/s. Observers will have a great opportunity to see an oblate shaped object with a little companion orbiting around it.

According to NASA's JPL measurements, Asteroid (66391) 1999 KW4 is around a mile wide oblate shaped object of the Aten group (a dynamical group of asteroids whose orbits bring them into proximity with Earth.) The asteroid and its moon are going to visit the Earth’s vicinity this Saturday at 7:05 p.m. EDT (23:05 UTC) at the very safe distance of 5 182 015 km. During the approach, it can reach a magnitude of 12.

To observe this asteroid, check the Puppis constellation in the southern sky. Asteroid 1999 KW4 should move along the orbit right over there. Observers in the Northern Hemisphere should be able to see it two days later after the closest approach.

Due to its sheer size and speed, the asteroid will be visible over Earth during the flyby. Nevertheless, a small telescope or binoculars together with the Star Walk 2 app will work better.

Happy hunting!

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Image Credit:Vito Technology

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