An asteroid, or rather a “Near Earth Object”, is passing by our planet today, 20 May. The object, called Asteroid 2020 KR, will fly by at a safe distance.
According to The Sky Live, a site that aims to provide accurate real time data and finder charts for the most interesting Solar System objects, the asteroid is currently in the constellation Pegasus. It is above the horizon from Cape Town, and is visible looking in the North-West direction at an altitude of 32 degrees above the horizon.
Unfortunately, 2020 KR only visible through long exposure due to its current magnitude.
At its closest approach to our plant, the asteroid will pass Earth at a distance of 0.00265672 Astronomical Units, or 397,440 kilometres. At the time of publishing the distance of Asteroid (NEO) 2020 KR from Earth is currently 658,932 kilometres, equivalent to 0.004405 Astronomical Units. Light takes 2.1980 seconds to travel from Asteroid (NEO) 2020 KR and arrive to us.
The asteroid may be considered as “potentially hazardous” as any object which comes within 7.8 million kilometres of our planet is labelled as such.
“Potentially hazardous asteroids are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth,” said NASA according to Korea Times . “Specifically, all asteroids with a minimum orbit intersection distance of 0.05 (astronomical units) or less and an absolute magnitude of 22.0 or less are considered (potentially hazardous asteroids).”
However, there is nothing to worry about. It has been confirmed by NASA that the object will pass by safely.
Image: Twitter / United Nations