Newly Discovered Asteroid to Fly by Earth This Friday

By Ryan Gandolfo, November 13, 2020

0 0

An asteroid is expected to make a near-Earth pass next week, according to sources with the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as cited by China Daily.

The asteroid was discovered by Chinese astronomers and spotted on November 6. It’s expected to safely fly by Earth at 8.08am CST on Friday, November 20.

Zhao Haibin, an astronomer with the observatory, said the asteroid will come within 4.48 million kilometers from Earth’s surface. To put that in perspective, the moon is more than 10 times closer to our planet.

Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) are by no means uncommon. In August, an SUV-sized space rock set a record for coming closer to Earth than any other recorded NEA. Due to its small size of about 3-6 meters, it would likely have turned into a fireball upon entering Earth’s atmosphere. So far in 2020, the American Meteor Society has documented more than 6,500 fireball events.

In July, the China National Space Administration launched an asteroid and comet exploration project to study comets and return samples from an NEA. The administration called on university, middle school and elementary school students to conduct science experiments in this field.

READ MORE: Chinese Scientists Have New Plan to Prevent Massive Asteroid Strike

According to Space News, ZhengHe, a spacecraft named after the 15th-century naval explorer, will target the identified NEA and collect up to a 1,000-gram sample from the asteroid. The samples will be returned to Earth within 2-3 years of launch.

This may seem like a big investment for a small sample size, but asteroid mining could lead to a massive payday in the future.

There is one asteroid, 16 Psyche, orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter that is worth an estimated USD10,000 quadrillion – or, USD10,000,000,000,000,000,000.

Image via Maxar/ASU/P. Rubin/NASA/JPL-Caltech

While most asteroids are made of rock or ice, 16 Psyche is believed to be mostly comprised of iron and nickel, resembling Earth’s core. The rare 226-kilometer space rock is worth more than the world’s entire economy – by a lot.

According to How Stuff Works, a NASA space probe is set to visit the massive object in 2026.

[Cover image via Pixabay]

more news

How to Make Space for a Relationship in China

Date Night China podcast discusses new relationships and navigating past the 'honeymoon' period in China.

Chinese-Congolese Singer Zhong Feifei on Competing on Reality TV and New Music

From studying global security to competing in a Chinese singing reality show.

The Bizarre Story of a Chinese Gaming Tycoon's Inheritance

After the suspected poisoning of gaming tycoon Lin Qi, the inheritance of his fortune has been embroiled in a paternity scandal.

4 Ways to Say 'You're Funny' in Chinese

In case you find yourself in a cackling fit, here are different ways to say 'you're funny' on a more personal level.

This Chinese City Saves the Most Money

Chinese households are known to be big-time savers compared to the global average.

Chinese Football Authority Cracks Down on CSL Salaries and Sponsors

The new rules for CSL teams may aid the national team going forward.

New 'China Untold' Episode Explores the Myth of WWII's Missing Chinese Soldiers

While MH370 may be the first China-related mass disappearance to come to mind, it might not be the earliest – or biggest.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives