Asteroid set to pass us by on Christmas Eve

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The asteroid will return again several times over the next few years.
Following on from Halloween’s close encounter, another seasonal asteroid will soon be paying us a visit.

Originally discovered by the Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search program back in 2003, the 2km-long asteroid known as ‘2003 SD220’ is set to pass us by this Christmas Eve.

Fortunately though it will be keeping its distance and won’t came any closer than 6.7 million miles.

“The 2015 apparition is the first of five encounters by this object in the next 12 years when it will be close enough for radar detection,” wrote NASA astronomer and asteroid expert Lance Benner.

Detecting and observing near-Earth asteroids is particularly beneficial, not only because it can help us to better understand the composition and origins of these objects but because NASA is hoping to land humans on an asteroid in the future as part of its program to send astronauts to Mars.

Stargazers should also be in for a treat when the asteroid reaches its closest approach next week.


Detecting and observing near-Earth asteroids is particularly beneficial, not only because it can help us to better understand the composition and origins of these objects but because NASA is hoping to land humans on an asteroid in the future as part of its program to send astronauts to Mars.
Stargazers should also be in for a treat when the asteroid reaches its closest approach next week.

 

Originally posted 2015-12-27 14:55:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter