Although it's technically not uncommon for certain asteroids to pass really close to Earth, it's still really rare that we get the opportunity to actually witness them while they are soaring by. Sometimes, certain researchers are not even aware about these near-Earth objects until they have finished passing by, but certain astronomers have discovered the Asteroid 2020 SW even before its scheduled visit to Earth.
The asteroid is said to make a really close approach to the planet on Thursday. The eager skywatchers will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually witness the 2020 SW's really close approach through a simple live feed as courtesy of the known Virtual Telescope Project.
Are you ready to view the Asteroid 2020 SW?
The viewing is set to happen on Wednesday Sept 23, at 6 PM ET. According to a certain Dr. Paul W. Chodas, the known director of the esteemed Center for Near-Earth Object Studies or CNEOS at NASA's very own Jet Propulsion Laboratory, recently told CBS News that the asteroid will actually be too faint to spot with just the naked eye. But viewers with at least a 12-inch telescope could possibly spot this asteroid "moving quite fast".
It was also assured that although the SW 2020 will get really close to Earth, Chodas stated that it had no chance at all of actually colliding with Earth. He also stated that it will come within a radius of about 14,000 miles from Earth's own surface.
Just to give a measurement, the moon is actually about 240,000 miles away and the satellites that we use in order to get television broadcasting as well as weather are all the way up about 23,000 miles away. This means that the SW 2020 will go beneath the satellites in terms of closeness to the Earth!
Why the asteroid is hard to spot
Another reason for a lack of visibility is that the asteroid is going to be quite small, only measuring about 14 feet to 32 feet in diameter according to a report from CNEOS. This means it's so small that even Earth's own gravity will also likely change its own trajectory when it finally zips by some time around 7:12 AM ET during Thursday.
Once the asteroid finally returns later on in 2041, it will then have a very distant approach, according to Chodas. Back in August, the asteroid known as 2020 QG came much closer to Earth at only 1,830 miles away! It wasn't actually discovered until about six hours after it had finally passed over the southern Indian Ocean. Another asteroid is expected to come close to Earth once again on November 2.
If you want to catch the asteroid, you can either check it out through the Virtual Telescope Project or maybe try to get yourself at least a 12-inch telescope before time.
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Written by Urian Buenconsejo
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