Potentially Dangerous Asteroid Approaches Earth

A cosmic wanderer is expected to patrol near Earth in the next few days. While it’s okay for the visitor to explore our planet from a distance, a direct contact with Earth will be a disaster.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reports that in the next two days, the potentially dangerous asteroid 2021 CO247 will fly about 8 million kilometers from Earth.

2021 CO247 was discovered on November 29, 2020, in images obtained by the NEOWISE (Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer) space telescope. On December 4, it was included in the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Electronic Minor Planet Circular.

The asteroid belongs to the group of “Apollo” – near-earth objects, the orbits of which intersect the earth from the outside. According to scientists, its diameter is from 0.5 to 1.1 kilometers, RIA Novosti reports.

2021 CO247 moves across the sky with the constellations Puppis, Unicorn, Canis Minor, Gemini, and Charioteer in the background.

The closest approach to the Earth is expected on the night of January 13-14. According to the calculated data, its brightness will be 12.9 magnitudes, an angular velocity of 33.4 arc seconds per minute. At this time, the asteroid will move against the background of Gemini towards the constellation Auriga.

In the middle latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, there will be good conditions for observing it. The asteroid can easily be seen through a 200 mm telescope.

Despite the fact that the asteroid will pass far enough from the Earth – according to various estimates, from 8.1 to 7.5 million kilometers – it is classified as potentially dangerous.
Earlier it was reported that a dangerous asteroid made a record-breaking approach to Earth, flying 345 kilometers above the planet.

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