Earth is Going to Change the Orbit of an Asteroid This Week
Asteroid 2020 SW will zoom by Earth – closer than weather satellites – on Thursday, September 24. It will not hit us, but its orbit will be changed by our planet. Its approach is so close that Earth’s gravity will alter its trajectory.
This small asteroid was only discovered on September 18, 2020.
At its closest approach, the asteroid should pass by our planet at an estimated 17,556 miles away -- just 7% of the moon’s distance. TV and weather satellites orbit around 22,000 miles from Earth’s surface.
Asteroid 2020 SW is estimated to be about 14 to 32 feet in diameter. It’ll brighten as it draws near, but won’t ever get bright enough to see with the naked eye.
According to Watchers, this is the 66th known asteroid to flyby Earth within 1 lunar distance since the start of the year and the 7th so far this month. It will also be the 24th closest on record.