15th April 2011 Notes: Tonight’s 50 Meter Asteroid

At the beginning of the week, a 50 meter wide asteroid called 2011 GP59 was detected by backyard astronomers at a distance 10 times further away than our Moon.

Tonight that asteroid passes us at a distance of a much smaller 1.5 times further than our Moon….no chance of it getting any closer to Earth. The asteroid will have a close pass of the Moon itself passing at a distance of 200,000 km of the Lunar surface.

The asteroid winks like a strobe because it is a cigar shape and spinning head over heals as it passes through space.

The picture below shows this asteroid as it moves from top left to bottom right…  it’s position pointed out in each picture by a green line.

Tracking the Movement of Tonight's Asteroid (Click to Enlarge)

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~ by sydneystargazers on April 15, 2011.

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