Newly discovered asteroid 2016 XW20 will flyby Earth on December 13, 2016, passing just 1.8 LD (691 200 km / 429 491 miles) from the surface of our planet at a relative velocity of 8.42 km/s. The closest approach is expected at 00:18 UTC.
This asteroid was discovered on December 8, 2016 by Mt. Lemmon Survey. 2016 XW20 is an Apollo-class near-Earth object with an estimated size of 13 - 29 m (42.6 - 95 feet). For comparison, estimated size of Chelyabinsk object of February 2013 was 20 - 40 m (65 - 131 feet). Pieces of that one survived the entry and the explosion it produced as it raced toward the surface injured over 1 000 people.
As of December 8, 2016, there are 8 301 discovered Apollo-class asteroids.
Featured image: Asteroid 2016XW20 orbital diagram. Credit: NASA/JPL
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