Sunday , September 26 2021

Heads up! Close the asteroid passage on August 21st



Asteroid step next August 21st.  Oblique view of the orbits of the inner planets and path of the asteroid passing near Earth.
In early August 2021, the fast-moving 2016 asteroid AJ193 runs inland toward the sun in its 5.91-year orbit. The Earth is in the approximate path of the asteroid. But it won’t impact us. At most, on August 21, the asteroid will pass about 8.9 lunar distances. This beautiful orbit simulation is done using SpaceReference.org.

Close the asteroid passage on August 21st

A good-sized asteroid will pass through Earth on Saturday, August 21, 2021. There is no danger that it will affect our planet. It has been designated asteroid 2016 AJ193. It is estimated to be just under a mile wide (1.4 km wide). And it moves fast. It travels at 94,208 km / h at 58,538 miles per hour relative to Earth. This is approximately 26.17 km per second. The closest approach to Earth will occur on August 21, 2021, at 11:10 am ET (15:10 UTC). This means that the best opportunity for amateur astronomers to try to capture this asteroid will be in early August 21, just hours before sunrise. See the graphs below.

NASA / JPL has classified the 2016 AJ193 as a potentially dangerous asteroid. However, the orbit of the space rock is well known and there is no risk of impact.

Look at the designation of the asteroid: 2016 AJ193. The installation of the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS), located at the Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii, first detected it in January 2016. Pan-STARRS consists of astronomical cameras, telescopes and an installation Computer science. He is exploring the sky to find nearby step asteroids like this. NASA’s NEOWISE spacecraft was then used to observe the asteroid. Astronomers reported a diameter of just under a mile (1.4 km) at the time. They also noticed that the asteroid was very dark (poorly reflective). The period of rotation, the direction of the pole and the spectrum of the asteroid
all classes are unknown. Therefore, astronomers intend to see when this 2016 AJ193 happens.

As mentioned above, this asteroid orbits the sun every 5.9 years. It is relatively close to Earth’s orbit, but then travels beyond Jupiter’s orbit. The August 21 flyby will be the closest approximation of this asteroid to Earth for at least the next 65 years, the longest period for which its orbit has been calculated.

Don’t worry about the collision between this asteroid and Earth. The closest to Earth, the 2016 asteroid AJ193 will sweep about 8.9 times the distance from the moon to us. It is a huge and safe distance, but relatively close to a 1.4 km space rock. It will be close enough that amateur and professional astronomers can detect and study it.

Professional astronomers will use radar

NASA scientists plan to use radar to observe the 2016 asteroid AJ193 between August 20 and 24. Bouncing radar signals from an asteroid allow astronomers to study the shape, size, and rotation of the object. Sometimes astronomers manage to acquire amazing asteroid radar images.

Radar signals sent to the 2016 asteroid AJ193 will be transmitted from Goldstone Antenna in California, along with small radars in Australia, Spain and Italy.

Check out Goldstone’s observations planning for asteroid 2016 AJ193 here.

A tall dish-shaped radio telescope lit up against a magnificent yellow and red sunset.
The Goldstone radar in California will be used to study the 2016 asteroid AJ193. Image via NASA / JPL.

Users of the telescope will monitor it

In addition, amateur astronomers equipped with telescopes will be able to see the asteroid. They will be able to track this fast-moving object as it moves in front of the stars. They will be able to photograph him while gliding around our planet. The asteroid will never be visible only to the eye. But observers using telescopes 20 inches (20 inches) and larger will be able to take a look. At its brightest moment, it will shine at 14th magnitude.

Star chart showing the location of the asteroid on August 21, 2021.
Facing southeast just before sunrise, August 21, 2021, at 5:00 ET. The asteroid 2016 AJ193 will be located in the direction of the constellation Lepus the Hare. It will not be far from the well-known constellation Orion the Hunter. It will not be bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye. Illustration by Eddie Irizarry with Stellarium.
Star chart showing the location of the asteroid on August 21, 2021.
Do you have a computerized telescope or “Go To”? Point it at reference stars HIP 24354 or HIP 24618 just before sunrise on August 21, 2021, around 5:00 am ET. You may be able to see an apparent slow-moving “star.” This will be the asteroid. Illustration by Eddie Irizarry with Stellarium.

In a nutshell: the 2016 asteroid AJ193 will pass close on August 21, 2021. In early August, it runs inland toward the sun. It will not hit the Earth.


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