Near-Earth Objects

Asteroid 2016 RB1 to flyby Earth at 0.1 LD on September 7, 2016

Newly discovered asteroid 2016 RB1 will make a very close flyby of Earth on September 7, 2016, passing at 0.1 LD (38 400 km / 23 860 miles) from the surface of our planet. The size of 2016 RB1, based on absolute magnitude, is estimated to be between 7.3 and 16 m (24...

September 06, 2016

Asteroid 2016 QA2 makes exceptionally close Earth flyby hours after discovery

Asteroid 2016 QA2 made an exceptionally close flyby of our planet at 01:24 UTC on August 28, 2016, just hours after it was discovered. Its estimated size is 34 meters (111.5 feet), between 16 and 52 meters (52 - 170 feet). This is about twice as big as the asteroid...

August 29, 2016

OSIRIS-REx to launch toward Asteroid Bennu and come back with its sample in 2023

In September or early October 2016, NASA will launch its first mission to return a sample of an asteroid to Earth. The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft will travel to the near-Earth...

August 17, 2016

Newly discovered asteroid 2016 HO3 is Earth's new quasi-satellite

Pan-STARRS 1 asteroid survey telescope on Haleakala, Hawaii has discovered Earth's new quasi-satellite. Designated as 2016 HO3, this newly discovered near-Earth object has been our planet's constant companion for almost a century. The asteroid is too...

June 16, 2016

Asteroid 2016 LT1 to pass close to Earth (0.4 LD) on June 7, 2016

A newly discovered asteroid 2016 LT1 will pass extremely close to Earth, between the Moon and Earth, at 20:25 UTC on June 7, 2016. This is a small asteroid discovered on June 4 by the Panstarrs survey in Hawaii. Its estimated size is about 4.2 to 9.5 meters (13.7...

June 07, 2016

Observations of comet P/2016 BA14 while making one of the closest-ever comet flybys of Earth

Astronomers were watching comet Pan-STARRS (P/2016 BA14) on March 22 as it made the third closest-ever comet flyby of Earth in recorded history. At the time of its closest approach, the comet was about 3.6 million km (2.2 million miles) away from the surface of our...

March 25, 2016

'Twin comets' to safely fly past Earth

Two Jupiter-family comets - 252P/LINEAR and P/2016 BA14 (PANSTARRS) - will safely fly past Earth on March 21 and 22, 2016 at a distance of 5.2 million km (3.3 million miles) and 3.5 million km (2.2 million miles), respectively. The two comets have intriguingly...

March 21, 2016

Asteroid 2016 EF195 detected 4 days after very close flyby

Newly discovered asteroid 2016 EF195 made a very close approach to Earth on March 11 and flew by us at 0.08 lunar distances. The closest approach occurred at 04:35 UTC at about 31 565 km (0.000211 AU / 0.08 LD / 19 613 miles) from the surface of our planet. This...

March 18, 2016

Comet Siding Spring plunged the magnetic field around Mars into chaos

When comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) made its historic encounter with planet Mars in October 2014, passing roughly 140 000 km (87 00 miles) from its surface, it wreaked havoc on the magnetic environment around Mars. The effect, temporary but profound, was measured...

March 11, 2016

Asteroid 2013 TX68 to pass close to Earth on March 8

Asteroid 2013 TX68, with an estimated size of 30 meters (100 feet), is expected to make a close flyby of Earth around 00:06 UTC on March 8, 2016. Discovered on October 6, 2013, by the Catalina Sky Survey, asteroid 2013 TX68's orbit is still quite uncertain, and...

March 02, 2016

Newly discovered asteroid 2016 DV1 to make a very close flyby of Earth on March 3, 2016

A newly discovered asteroid named 2016 DV1 is expected to make a very close flyby of Earth on March 3, 2016. 2016 DV1 is an Apollo class asteroid discovered on February 28, 2016. Its estimated size is between 28 and 62 meters (92 to 203 feet), which is about twice...

March 02, 2016

Asteroid 2013 TX69 to safely pass Earth on March 5

2013 TX68, the small asteroid that flew by our planet two years ago is now coming back again for another flyby on March 5, 2016. This time, the asteroid might make a much closer pass though still at a safe distance. Two years ago, 2013 TX68 flew by Earth at a...

February 04, 2016

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office to detect and monitor potentially hazardous NEOs

NASA's program for detecting and tracking near-Earth objects (NEOs) has now been formally established and named the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO). Its responsibility will be supervising projects oriented towards finding and characterizing...

January 12, 2016

Giant comets pose a much greater hazard to life than asteroids

The discovery of hundreds of giant comets in the outer planetary system over the last two decades means that these objects pose a much greater hazard to life than asteroids, a team of astronomers from Armagh Observatory and the University of Buckingham report. The...

December 22, 2015

10-m wide asteroid makes a very close call with Earth

A newly discovered asteroid, about 10-meters (34 feet) wide, flew past Earth well withing the orbit of the Moon on December 19, 2015. After a much bigger, 650-meter (0.33 miles) wide asteroid that flew past Earth at about 1.3 LD on October 31, this is the second...

December 19, 2015

Small asteroid makes a close Earth flyby at 0.09 LD

A small asteroid discovered on November 14, 2015, made a close flyby to Earth only a couple of hours after it was observed. The asteroid named 2015 VY105 came as close to our planet as an average geostationary satellite. However, good news is that 2015 VY105 was so...

November 16, 2015

New radar images of the 'spooky' 2015 TB145 asteroid

The 'spooky' 2015 TB145 asteroid has made a safe pass trough Earth's neigborhood on October 31, 2015, and scientist were able to obtain new high resolution radar images of its surface, quite distinct to the first images provided by the Arecibo radar on...

November 05, 2015