(ORDO NEWS) — On Saturday, December 17, skywatchers on the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona, USA, spotted a car-sized asteroid that flew past our planet, closer to the surface than communication satellites orbiting the Earth.
For the first time, an asteroid with a diameter of 4 meters was noticed only when it made its closest flyby at a distance of about 21,000 km from Earth.
Communications satellites revolve around our planet at a greater distance – about 35,786 km from the surface.
The asteroid was cataloged as 2022 YO1.
Due to its proximity to Earth, 2022 YO1 is classified as a near-Earth object (NEO) and it could collide with Earth during one of its future orbits.
According to NASA, on December 17, an asteroid flew past Earth at a relative speed of 55,000 km/h.
According to estimates of its next orbit, 2022 YO1 could fly by at a distance of 35,439 km exactly two years from the day it was first seen.
Interestingly, the asteroid was the sixth closest space rock spotted by astronomers just this year. In fact, seven of the 50 closest space objects seen to date were seen in 2022.
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