Space Shuttle-Sized Asteroid 2013 XY8 to Fly Past Earth on Dec. 11

by Nancy Atkinson on December 10, 2013

Asteroid 2013 XY8 imaged on 2013, December 10, 2013 by E. Guido, N. Howes and M. Nicolini/Remanzacco Observatory.

Asteroid 2013 XY8 imaged on 2013, December 10, 2013 by E. Guido, N. Howes and M. Nicolini/Remanzacco Observatory.

A newly-discovered asteroid about the size of a space shuttle will fly past Earth on December 11, 2013 at a very safe distance of 760,000 kilometers (470,000 miles). The closest approach of Asteroid 2013 XY8 will be 11:14 UT, and its size is estimated between 31 – 68 meters. This asteroid is zipping along at about 14 kilometers per second, and of course at about 2 lunar distances away, there is no danger of this asteroid hitting Earth. The asteroid was discovered on Dec. 7 by the team at the Catalina Sky Survey, and our friends Ernesto Guido, Nick Howes and Martino Nicolini from the Remanzacco Observatory have provided a follow-up image of the asteroid, taken just this morning.

You can see an animation of it here, and more information at their website.

And as usual with close passing asteroids, the Virtual Telescope Project will is offering a live, online event sharing real-time images of 2013 XY8 with live commentary by their science staff. “It will be a nice opportunity to spy this 40 meter large asteroid moving across the stars,” said Gianluca Masi from the Virtual Telescope Project.

The feed is live now, and you can watch below:

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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