Asteroid 2017 GM to flyby Earth at a very close distance of 0.03 LD

Asteroid 2017 GM to flyby Earth at a very close distance of 0.03 LD

A newly discovered asteroid designated 2017 GM will flyby Earth at a very close distance of 0.03 LD (~11 520 km / 7 158 miles) from the surface of our planet on April 4, 2017. This is the 15th known asteroid to flyby Earth within 1 lunar distance since the start of the year and the closest one. It is also among the 10 known asteroids to pass this close to Earth ever.

2017 GM belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. Its estimated size is between 2.8 - 6.3 m (9 - 20 feet).

This small asteroid, first observed at Mt. Lemmon Survey on April 3, will make its closest approach to the Earth at 10:31 UTC on April 4 at a speed (relative to the Earth) of 18.48 km/s.

Ephemeris | Orbit Diagram | Orbital Elements | Physical Parameters | Close-Approach Data ]

This is the 15th known asteroid to pass within 1 lunar distance since January 9, 2017, and the closest one. You can find them all in our Near-Earth Objects category. 2017 GM is also one of the 10 known near-Earth asteroids to pass this close to Earth ever.

As of March 31, 2017, there are 16 062 known near-Earth objects, 15 956 of them are near-Earth asteroids. 8 696 belong to the Apollo group of asteroids.

Since the start of the year, we have discovered 355 new near-Earth objects. All of them are asteroids.

The Virtual Telescope Project captured 2017 GM while it was safely approaching us today.

"For this, we remotely used a telescope in Arizona, made available to the Virtual Telescope by Tenagra Observatories, Ltd. Above is an image coming from a single 30-seconds exposure, unfiltered, taken with the 16″-f/3.75 Tenagra III (“Pearl”) unit.  The Paramount MEII robotic mount tracked the fast apparent motion (150″/minute) of the asteroid, so stars are trailing. The asteroid is perfectly tracked: it is the sharp dot in the center, marked by two red lines," they said.

Asteroid 2017 GM at 07:34 UTC on April 4, 2017

Near-Earth asteroid 2017 GM at 07:34 UTC on April 4, 2017. Credit: Gianluca Masi (The Virtual Telescope Project) and Michael Schwartz (Tenagra Observatories, Ltd)


Asteroid 2017 GM at Minor Planet Center, CNEOS

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 grey. The blue arrow points in the direction of Earth's motion and the yellow arrow points toward the Sun. Credit: Minor Planet Center


Judith Nappe 24 days ago

Is this new development of siting close close ateroids possibly caused by the shift of Earth's axis and therefore our path of rotation?

Amin 25 days ago

what if it hit the earth?

TW (@Amin) 24 days ago

This one would most likely burn up providing good show if anyone was to observe it.

Bill Sundling 25 days ago

So is it still an asteroid if it's the size of a grain of sand? It's hard to consider something an asteroid if it's 9 to 20 feet long.

TW (@Bill Sundling) 25 days ago

Yes, it is still an asteroid.

JC 26 days ago

A little late in posting your article, aren't you. Why didn't you post it yesterday so we could have been up at 5:30 am to try to see it. WHAT A WASTE!

TW (@JC) 26 days ago

It was discovered yesterday and report published within hours. Don't be mad, JC.

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