May 25, 2019 potentially dangerous asteroid1999 KW4 flew as close as possible to Earth. According to astronomers, the distance between our planet and the space object was 5.2 million kilometers, and its speed reached 70 thousand kilometers per hour. Thanks to the International Asteroid Hazard Warning Network IAWN, astronomers from around the world organized the surveillance of the object, and this idea gave an impressive result.
The observed asteroid consists of two bodies, the diameterwhich is equal to 1.31 kilometers and 360 meters, and the distance between them is 2.6 kilometers. The system was opened in 1999 and added to the list of objects potentially dangerous for our planet. The fact is that it moves in an orbit with a period of 188 days, and crosses the trajectories of the Earth, Venus and Mercury. Sometimes the system approaches the Earth too closely, by about 0.05 astronomical units, and this poses some danger.
Photo of a double asteroid taken with a VLT telescope
The receiver participated in the observation of the object.SPHERE, which is built into the so-called “Very Large Telescope” VLT, located in Chile. It is mainly used to create direct images of distant planets, but it is also great for shooting small objects, such as asteroids and dwarf planets. Astronomers managed to get high-quality images, even if the object was moving at a very high speed.
Thanks to the received images, astronomersit will be possible to carefully study the surface of objects, as well as their color - they can later find out whether the two parts have the same composition. Based on these images, the designers created a beautiful video that was published on the YouTube YouTube channel of the European Southern Observatory.
Read more about the 1999 KW4 double steroidread in our material, which was written before its rapprochement with the Earth. Researchers believe that at the moment it can not cause a disaster.
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