Asteroid 2023 BU zipped past Earth on Thursday night (January 26) to the delight of amateur astronomers worldwide. For skywatchers without telescopes or whose views were hampered by bad weather, luckily the Italy-based Virtual Telescope Project was there to observe the event and livestream the whole thing for free.
The Virtual Telescope is a robotic telescope operated by Italian amateur astronomer Gianluca Masi near Rome, Italy. Ace 2023 BU to strike the worldThe telescope was able to track the rock through cloud gaps when it was about 13,670 miles (22,000 kilometers) from its closest point on Earth’s surface (about its altitude GPS Navigation Satellite Constellation) and 22,990 miles (37,000 km) from the virtual telescope.
Masi, who shared an hour-long webcast of the observations on the Virtual Telescope website, was not able to capture the closest approach as the clouds rolled in. Nevertheless, the Virtual Telescope project was able to get a good look at the car-sized rock, seen in time-lapse above.
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The rock, discovered less than a week ago on Saturday (21 January), passed over the southern tip of South America on Thursday 26 January (27 January 0027 GMT) EST at its closest point just 2,240 miles (3,600 km) from Earth’s surface.
This close approach makes 2023 BU the fourth closest the asteroid Ever observed from Earth, except for five space rocks that were detected before the dive Earth’s atmosphere.
Only 11.5 to 28 feet wide (3.5 to 8.5 meters), 2023 BU poses no threat to the planet. If the trajectories of the two bodies had intersected, most of the asteroid would have burned up in the atmosphere and only small fragments would have fallen to the ground. the meteor.
In videos and photos shared by Masi, the asteroid appears as a small bright dot in the center of the frame, while long, bright streaks are surrounding stars. In reality, of course, it was the asteroid that was moving relative to Earth, traveling at 21,000 mph (33,800 km/h) relative to Earth. The rock remained fixed in the images while Masi’s computerized telescope tracked its position, rendering the stars as these moving lines.
The gravitational kick received by 2023 BU during its encounter with Earth will change the shape of its orbit around the sun. Previously, the space rock followed a rather circular orbit, completing a lap around the Sun in 359 days. From now on, BU 2023 will travel on a more elliptical path through the inner solar system, approaching the halfway point. Mars At the farthest point of its orbit. This change will add 66 days to BU 2023’s orbital period.
The asteroid was discovered by renowned Crimean-based astronomer and astrophysicist Gennady Borisov, the same person who discovered the first interstellar comet in 2018, which now bears his name. Borisov.
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