On September 14, 2012 a pair of asteroids will make close flyby near the Earth and Moon. A 300-meter space rock 2012 QG42 comes from the inner asteroid belt and it will pass 2.8 million km (7.4 lunar distances) from Earth. 1.1 km in diameter 2012 QC8 is coming from the vicinity of Jupiter and it will pass about 8.7 million km (22.7 lunar distances) from Earth.
Asteroid 2012 QG42
2012 QG42 has an estimated size of 200 m – 500 m (H=20.4, most agree that it is 300 m) and it will have a close approach with Earth at about 7.43 LD (Lunar Distances) or 0.019 AU at 05:10 UTC on September 14, 2012. This asteroid will reach an average magnitude of 13.6 around September 10-12. This is a relatively bright magnitude for seasoned observers but far from being visible with naked eye. Astronomers at Goldstone and Arecibo will observe it as this object should be a really strong delay-Doppler imaging target.
It was discovered on August 26, 2012 by the Catalina Sky Survey. It is classified as a PHA (Potentially Hazardous Asteroid). PHA are asteroids larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.
Slooh Space Camera will be providing free live online coverage of the asteroid's closest approach to Earth on the night of the September 13/14, 2012. Closest approach occurs at 05:13 UTC – for that time at worldwide locations, see here.
Asteroid 2012 QC8
2012 QC8 (discovery magnitude 17.1) was discovered on August 20, 2012 by Siding Spring Survey. 2012 QC8 is a current radar target for ground-based radio telescopes.
2012 QC8 has an estimated size of 670 m – 1.5 km (H=18.0) and it will have a close approach with Earth at about 22.7 LD (Lunar Distances) or 0.0583 AU at 22:56 UTC on September 14, 2012. This asteroid will reach an average magnitude of 14.6 around September 10-13.
Featured image credit: Gamp-pt
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