Published On: Tue, Mar 6th, 2018

Huge Asteroid Will Skim Past Earth Wednesday Morning

A “potentially hazardous” asteroid up to 1600 feet in diameter will skim past Earth early Wednesday morning and will likely be visible to amateurs with smaller telescopes, according to NASA.

Asteroid 2017 VR12 will pass within 900,000 miles of Earth at around 2:53 a.m. ET, and its orbit will keep it 3.7 lunar distances from the planet which is considered a safe distance. NASA predicts the asteroid will zoom past Earth at about 14,092 miles per hour. 

“It will get as bright as about 12 magnitude, easily visible to northern hemisphere amateur astronomers with moderate-sized telescopes — perhaps even as small as six-inch telescopes,” Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told Newsweek in early February. “Observers will still need a dark sky and a good ephemeris to find the object, however.”

The Virtual Telescope Project will be live streaming the asteroid’s journey. 

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Huge Asteroid Will Skim Past Earth Wednesday Morning