A newly discovered, car-sized asteroid 2017 FN1 flew past Earth at a distance of 0.15 LD (~57 600 km/ 35 790 miles) from the surface at 21:01 UTC on March 20, 2017. This is the 13th known asteroid to flyby Earth within 1 lunar distance since the start of the year (according to data available September 20, 2017).
2017 FN1 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids and has an estimated diameter between 2 and 4.5 meters (6.5 - 14.7 feet). It flew past Earth at a speed relative to the Earth of 18.26 km/s.
This object was first observed at Mount Lemmon Survey (MLS) on March 20, 2017. MLS is a part of the Catalina Sky Survey. It uses a 1.52 m (60 inches) Cassegrain reflector telescope operated by the Steward Observatory at Mount Lemmon Observatory, which is located at 2 791 meters (9 157 feet) in the Santa Catalina Mountains northeast of Tucson, Arizona. It is currently one of the most prolific surveys worldwide, especially for discovering near-Earth objects.
As of March 18, 2017, there are 15 798 known near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Of them, 8 602 belong to the Apollo group of asteroids - Earth-crossing NEAs with semi-major axes larger than Earth's (named after asteroid 1862 Apollo).
Featured image: The green line indicates the object's apparent motion relative to the Earth, and the bright green marks are the object's location at approximately one hour intervals. The Moon's orbit is gray. The blue arrow points in the direction of Earth's motion and the yellow arrow points toward the Sun. Edit: TW
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