A small asteroid has passed close by Earth’s surface this year. It’s been quite a while since a space rock has come so close to our planet. The small asteroid is dubbed 2020 BH6. The so-called astronomical body visitor flew past the Earth’s surface closer than the moon itself, at only 37,200 miles away traveling at the speed of 22,800 mph. If we speak in terms of lunar distance, it means that the asteroid passed at 0.18 times the distance to the moon. Take into consideration that the moon is located about 238,900 miles away from the Earth’s surface.
In the past, another astronomical body has flown past the Earth’s surface at only 0.28 times the lunar distance, which means 65,100 in miles. It happened when an almost 13-meter space rock zipped past our planet. Our planet is not the only one that got ‘zipped’ by the 2020 BH6 asteroid; it also flew at only 167,400 miles away from the moon.
The Apollo-type asteroid whizzed by Earth recently and will come back in 11 years
The 2020 BH6 is, in fact, a newly discovered asteroid, although it has traveled our orbit before. The space rock has 32.8 feet in diameter, according to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). It is also an Apollo asteroid; however, it does not pose a threat to humanity assures JPL scientists.
Although the 2020 BH6 asteroid has just been observed on the NASA’s radar, it has orbited the sun once every 2.4 years. Scientists had also managed to find out the dates when this asteroid flew by our planet as well as predict when the future encounters will take place. The 2020 BH6 asteroid has previously visited Earth in 2002 1903, 1964, 2002, and 2015; however, this is its first close encounter with our planet’s surface. As for the future visits, the asteroid will return in 2031 and then again in 2040.
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.