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See the stadium-sized asteroid that passed “close” to Earth

See the stadium-sized asteroid that passed “close” to Earth

NASA released images of an asteroid the size of a football field that passed near Earth on February 2. The space rock, called 2008 OS7, traveled a safe distance of 2.9 million kilometres, and was observed by scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Understands:

  • NASA Released Images of a stadium-sized asteroid that passed 2.9 million kilometers from Earth in early February;
  • The asteroid, named 2008 OS7, was discovered in 2008, but only now have its true dimensions been determined by scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL): it is 150 to 200 meters in diameter;
  • Although it is considered “potentially dangerous” due to its size and proximity to Earth, the asteroid will not come very close to us during the next 200 years.
  • 2008 OS7 orbits the Sun every 2.6 years and takes a total of 29.5 hours to complete one orbit.

The team used the advanced Goldstone radar to produce a series of images of the asteroid, which was discovered in 2008 during a routine search. Thanks to new observations, scientists were able to correctly determine its size: its diameter is about 150 to 200 meters.

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Does the asteroid pose a danger to Earth?

(Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Although considered a “potential danger” due to its size and proximity to Earth, there is no cause for concern: 2008 OS7 will not come very close to our planet in the next 200 years.

As revealed in a JPL statement, 2008 OS7 orbits the Sun every 2.6 years, passing through the orbit of Venus and past the orbit of Mars at its farthest point. Its surface contains a mixture of rounder and more angular areas with small concavities, and the asteroid rotates at a speed that the team described as “unusually slow,” taking 29.5 hours to complete one orbit.

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