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An unusually big asteroid will soon pass closer to Earth than the moon



  phaethon-asteroid-dust2-small

A large asteroid is going through this month.


Theodore R. Kareta

An asteroid twice as big as the bolide exploded over Russia in 2013 will exploit us next week at a distance closer to the Earth than the moon.

Although the titles of the tabloids can lead you to believe, small asteroids hit the Earth on a fairly regular basis. Most of these space rocks are so few to burn even though they have collided with our atmosphere, and astronomers discover many when the Earth is already in their rear view mirror.

The 2019 EA2 asteroid could be up to 128 feet (39 meters) wide. It is the rare rock that makes a close-up overflight that is also large enough that astronomers sight it far in advance. The asteroid, detected earlier this month, also moves unusually slowly, at a speed of 5 kilometers per second (11,185 mph), which makes it easier to see.

On 22 March, the asteroid 2019 EA2 will pass by us at a safe distance of 188.731 miles (303.733 kilometers), or about eight tenths of the distance between here and the moon, according to NASA.

If you have a fairly powerful telescope (or perhaps with the help of a place like the Virtual Telescope Project), identifying this asteroid could be an interesting following to look at the last supermoon of the # 39 ; year a few nights before.


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