Approaching Asteroid Set to Pass Inside the Belt of Satellites in Geostationary Orbit on Sept. 24
“…orbit for 2020 SW is currently very Earthlike, which means it will be very close to Earth on a regular basis.”
A newly discovered asteroid called 2020 SW will pass so close to Earth this week that it might hit a communications satellite. “That’s very unlikely, but we can’t rule it out,” scientists say.
Asteroid 2020 SW is expected to flyby Earth at just 0.07 LD 17 200 miles (27 680 km) at 11:18 UTC on September 24, 2020. It was first observed at Mt. Lemmon Survey, Arizona on September 18, just 6 days before its close approach. The object belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. Astronomers estimate that the space rock is just 32 feet (10 meters) wide.
But the orbit for 2020 SW is currently very Earthlike, which means it will be very close to Earth on a regular basis. Based on current projections, the asteroid could swing close enough to our planet to disrupt some orbiting satellites on Sept. 24, 2020.
The flyby is expected to take place at 11:18 UTC (± 06:18) at a speed (relative to the Earth) of 7.7 km/s.
We need to keep an eye on these space rocks because they have a habit of every once in a while entering our neighborhood. 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.