A Newly Discovered Asteroid Has Been Seen Flying Closer To The Earth Than Satellites

The Catalina Sky Survey observatory in Arizona identified a new asteroid coming straight for Earth this weekend. The asteroid was dubbed 2022 YO1 and was discovered as it approached Earth by 13,000 miles.

The asteroid passed just 35 kilometers above the upper layer of the atmosphere, passing under multiple geosynchronous satellites 22,236 miles above us.

Despite passing so close to Earth, it is quite strange that this asteroid posed any threat. The space rock is about the size of a car, and if it fell through the layers of the atmosphere, it would turn to dust before hitting the ground.

However, an asteroid of this size would produce a giant fireball. If it became a meteorite, it might have been viewed from all across the world.

2022 YO1 is categorized as a Near Earth Object (NEO) due to its close approach to the Earth, and it may collide with the planet during one of its future orbits. The asteroid is part of the Apollo group and has an estimated diameter of 2.7 to 5.9 m (8.8 – 19.3 ft).

Since the beginning of the year, this is the 118th known asteroid to fly within one lunar distance of Earth. It is also the year’s sixth closest flyby and the 39th closest since 1901.

This time, we managed to dodge the collision, but YO1 will likely bring us closer once again. According to the asteroid’s orbital path across the Solar System, another collision with Earth is expected in 2024.

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