A Meteorite Passed Near Earth at Record Speed

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Scientists have announced that when viewed on an astronomical scale, a meteorite passes very close to our planet at very high speed. So much so that the asteroid broke the record.

A meteorite called 2020 UF3 passed at record speed from a point that could be considered quite close to our planet on October 22. The asteroid detected by the Virtual Telescope Project has passed only 42 thousand kilometers. This distance roughly corresponds to 11% of the distance between the Earth and the moon.

According to NASA reports, the speed of the asteroid was also very high. The 2020 UF3 was traveling at 22 kilometers per second. In other words, its speed was 79 thousand kilometers per hour. If the asteroid was orbiting our planet at full speed, it could have made almost 2 rotations per hour.

Became the fastest meteorite

The asteroid also managed to become the fastest meteorite ever observed by this astronomy group, according to the Virtual Telescope Project. The team published an article on the subject on their website.

“The near-Earth asteroid 2020 UF3 has safely come very close to our planet, to a minimum distance of 42000 kilometers from Earth. It is about 11% of the average moon distance ”.

An image of the meteorite was also captured in the project. This image is not very clear. The object, which can be viewed for only 3 seconds by the Elena robotics unit, is a bit blurry and there are slight distortions in the image. Yet enough to witness the passage of the asteroid.

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The meteorite was discovered on October 21

Despite being so close to Earth, the meteorite’s discovery took place only on October 21st. The reason for this is that the celestial body is a relatively small meteorite between 13 and 57 meters tall. The Lemmon Mountain research team discovered the asteroid.

From time to time, such small structures can go around our planet. In fact, the Sun and Jupiter greatly prevent such structures from hitting our planet thanks to their enormous gravitational field.


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