Huge asteroid 2016 AJ193 to fly closely past Earth on today: Everything you need to know!

The asteroid, named 2016 AJ193, is reportedly is rushing inward towards the sun in its 5.91-year orbit. Earth is in its approximated path but it will not hit the planet.

Created On: Aug 21, 2021 14:28 IST
Asteroid 2016 AJ193
Asteroid 2016 AJ193

A huge asteroid will fly past Earth very closely on August 21, 2021, reported Earthsky. It will not hit Earth. 

The asteroid, named 2016 AJ193, is reportedly is rushing inward towards the sun in its 5.91-year orbit. Earth is in its approximated path but it will not hit the planet.

The asteroid will pass the Earth some 8.9 lunar distances away. It will be at its closest on August 21st. 

Asteroid 2016 AJ193: Ten Important Facts

1. The asteroid is estimated to be 1.4 km wide.

2. It is travelling fast at about 94,208 km/h relative to Earth.

3. It will make its closed approach to the Earth on August 21, 2021 at around 11:10 am ET (8:40 pm IST).

4. The asteroid was classified  as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid by NASA/JPL but there is no risk of impact.

5. Asteroid 2016 AJ193 cannot be seen with the naked eye.

6. The asteroid is very dark, as it is not very reflective. 

7. The asteroid’s rotation period, pole direction and spectral class are unknown.

8. The asteroid orbits the sun every 5.9 years. 

9. During its orbit, it gets relatively close to Earth’s orbit, then travels beyond the orbit of Jupiter. 

10. The flyby on August 21 will be the asteroid’s closest approach to Earth in at least the next 65 years.

Can the asteroid hit the Earth?

No, asteroid 2016 AJ193 will not hit Earth as even at its closest approach, it will be some 8.9 times the moon’s distance from the planet.  The distance is a safe one but relatively close enough for a huge space rock. 

Can the asteroid be seen with the naked eye?

No, it won't be visible to the naked eye but it will be close enough for astronomers to be able to spot it and study it. Even amateur astronomers equipped with telescopes will be able to see the asteroid and photograph it. 

Why is it called Asteroid 2016 AJ193?

The asteroid is designated 2016 AJ193 because it was first spotted by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) facility in Hawaii in January 2016.

NASA’s NEOWISE spacecraft was then used to observe the asteroid in detail. However, many things are yet unknown about space rock. 

 

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