Categories: Asteroids

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

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. β€œIt 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:

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Nancy_A and and Instagram at and https://www.instagram.com/nancyatkinson_ut/

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