Home Science Asteroid news: 200m-wide space rock 2020 PM7 to race past Earth tomorrow

Asteroid news: 200m-wide space rock 2020 PM7 to race past Earth tomorrow

Other intriguing information made publicly available on the agency’s Earth Earth Object (NEO) site include its speed and the closest distance it will safely blast past the planet.

Asteroid 2020 PM7 is estimated to be travelling at a colossal 8.32km/s (18,611mph).

And the rogue space rock is also believed to be “only” 0.01920 Astronomical Units (1,784,751 miles) from our world.

Bearing in mind the Earth’s diameter is 7,917 miles, this may seem far to great a distance to truly be considered “close”.

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"The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is due largely to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago.

"The giant outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) formed from an agglomeration of billions of comets and the left over bits and pieces from this formation process are the comets we see today.

"Likewise, today’s asteroids are the bits and pieces left over from the initial agglomeration of the inner planets that include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.

"As the primitive, leftover building blocks of the solar system formation process, comets and asteroids offer clues to the chemical mixture from which the planets formed some 4.6 billion years ago.

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"If we wish to know the composition of the primordial mixture from which the planets formed, then we must determine the chemical constituents of the leftover debris from this formation process - the comets and asteroids."

US organisation the Minor Planet Center provides a provisional designation.

Then, once an asteroid’s orbit has been confirmed, it receives a permanent numeral designation.

The discoverer then gets a decade to submit and explain a name for the object.

A 15-person committee at the International Astronomical Union then judges whether to approve the asteroid’s name, before this is published in a monthly newsletter.

Source:Daily Express :: Science Feed

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