Incoming! Asteroid Flyby May Be Captured Online
An asteroid the size of the one that whizzed between Earth and the moon last year is going to cruise past our planet on Thursday June 14 and be monitored by the Slooh Space Camera, which broadcasts space phenomena online.
Although the 1,650-foot-wide near-Earth asteroid 2012 LZ1 is the size of a city block, it poses no threat since it will pass 14 lunar distances from Mother Earth. About the size of last year's YU55, it will come just close enough to make a possible cameo appearance on camera, according to Space.com.
Slooh’s website brought us the Transit of Venus, the annular solar eclipse and numerous other celestial shows and will bring interested viewers a potential glimpse of the space rock from its telescope on the Canary Islands.
NASA’s scoffing at the absence of a rogue, unknown planet hitting Earth in the apocalypse notwithstanding, this asteroid is newly discovered, Space.com said, popping onto astronomers’ radar just this week.
“It was discovered on the night of June 10–11 by Rob McNaught and his colleagues, who were peering through the Uppsala Schmidt telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia,” Space.com said.
At 3.35 million miles away, it will be nowhere near close enough to Earth to hit us, Space.com assured, but anything that’s at least 500 feet wide and comes within 4.65 million miles of Earth is officially classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid. The probability isn't completely bogus though. Recently an international group suggested that near-Earth asteroids that could actually slam into us are more prevalent than we think, and recommended a global early-warning system.