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Archive for March 9th, 2013

Third Asteroid in One Week

Posted by feww on March 9, 2013

Asteroid 2013 ET a Million Km from Earth

NEO (Near-Earth object) “2013 ET,” an asteroid said to be the size of a city block, was discovered  by Catalina Sky Survey less than a week ago [March 3, 2013.] It will make its closest approach to Earth at about 2.5 Lunar Distances, later today [Saturday, March 9, UTC.] 

The asteroid is about 164m long and 64m wide with an estimated mass of  250,000 tons.

2013ET -sloohspace-cam
Freeze frame from a video clip of NEO 2013 ET taken by Slooh Space Camera (Canary Islands) on March 7, 2013.  Credit: Paul Cox

NEO 2013 ET is the second asteroid in one day, and the third this week, to come “close” to earth. The first, a smaller asteroid measuring 4-10m long, dubbed “2013 EC20,” came within 170,000 km of Earth at 09:57UTC  today.

On Monday, “2013 EC,” a 10m-long asteroid, passed Earth at a distance of about 370,000km.

The Moon at its perigee (closest distance) is 356,400 km from Earth, and 406,700 km at its apogee (farthest distance).

Most asteroids come from the asteroid belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The Trojan asteroids lie in Jupiter’s orbit.

The online Slooh Space Telescope will provide a live webcast of 2013 ET from their Canary Island based observatory at 20:15UTC.

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