Small Asteroid Gets Closer to Earth

Small Asteroid Gets Closer to EarthAsteroid 2011 MD, a piece of rock estimated to be anywhere from 25 to 55 feet wide, is going to buzz the earth this Monday at a distance of below 8,000 miles over the surface of the planet. It’s a near call, one that places the asteroid nearer to the Earth than the world wide positioning satellites that orbit it.  But everyone will be safe.

A research scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, Pasquale Tricarico crafted a sequence of animations to show the correct slingshot effect the asteroid will face once it strikes the edge of Earth’s gravitational well.

Yet even though the asteroid were to make it into the atmosphere of the Earth, it would not go extremely far.

Dr. Emily Baldwin of Astronomy Now magazine said in an interview with Skymania news, “We are certain that it will miss us, but if it did enter the atmosphere, an asteroid this size would mostly burn up in a brilliant fireball, possibly scattering a few meteorites.”

Concerned observers of asteroid will be able to see the piece of rock crashing through the sky at about 1 p.m. EST on Monday.  A big number of locations will be able to observe the approach of asteroid against the real occasion itself, or the time when the asteroid is nearest to the surface of the Earth.

In terms of standing, 2011 MD’s journey makes it the fifth-nearest listed asteroid incident as recorded by the Minor Planet Center’s ranking charts.  A total of three different asteroids have navigated past the Earth at a closer distance and one asteroid, called 2008 T50, infiltrated atmosphere of the Earth before blasting into parts at a height of about 23 miles off the ground.

An object of this size is anticipated to pass this close to the Earth once every six years on average, according to the report of NASA scientists.  About 8,000 recognized asteroids presently have an orbit that puts them rather near to the surface of the Earth; approximately 1,000 of these are smaller than 100 feet across.

The asteroid will create its next journey close to our planet about 2022, although the pass is not anticipated to nail the Earth also.