a asteroid similar in size to that of a small car passed close to Earth last Sunday, 16. Called 2020 HQ, it was 2,950 kilometers from the planet, a short distance in proportional terms.
To the Nasa, this means that this is the asteroid that was closest to the globe without hitting it. Despite the short distance, it would not have reached the Earth’s surface, because it would have dissipated in the atmosphere and only waste would fall on the planet.
The identification of the asteroid occurred after six hours, through the Palomar Observatory, in the United States. Paul Chodas, director of NASA, also confirmed that the space agency did not identify him. “The asteroid approached undetected,” he said.
The asteroid passed close to the far east of Australia, close to the Pacific Ocean. Tony Dunn, creator of the website orbitsimulator.com, posted on his profile on Twitter an animation that reproduces the trajectory of the asteroid.
Newly-discovered asteroid ZTF0DxQ passed less than 1/4 Earth diameter yesterday, making it the closest-known flyby that didn’t hit our planet.@renerpho
— Tony Dunn (@tony873004) August 17, 2020
“It passed with a distance less than a quarter of the Earth’s diameter,” explained Dunn.