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Atira class asteroid 2016 VB1 to flyby Earth at 0.68 LD on November 7, 2016

atira-asteroid-2016-vb1-november-7-2016

A newly discovered asteroid 2016 VB1 will flyby Earth at 0.68 LD (261 120 km / 162 252 miles) from the surface on November 7, 2016. The closest approach is expected at 15:56 UTC.

This is a rare, Atira class asteroid first observed by Mt. Lemmon Survey on November 5, 2016. Its estimated size is 3 – 12 m (10 – 40 feet). 2016 VB1 will flyby Earth at a relative velocity of 5.72 km/s.

Atira is a class of near-Earth asteroids whose orbits are contained entirely with the orbit of the Earth and are therefore alternatively called Interior-Earth Objects (IEO).

Until recently, there were only 6 known asteroids of this type.

Asteroid 2016 VB1 (Atira class) orbital diagram - November 7, 2016 - Minor Planet Center

Atira class asteroid 2016 VB1, orbit diagram for November 7, 2016. Credit: Minor Planet Center

The next close approach of 2016 VB1 to our planet is expected on August 10, 2018.

References:

Featured image credit: Minor Planet Center (2016 VB1, orbit diagram)

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