At this very moment, a newly discovered asteroid is passing extremely close to Earth - it will come closer than the moon and even closer than some satellites orbiting us!
Called ‘2020 SW’, at its closest it will be only 27,000km away - which sounds like a lot if you’re comparing it to your drive home or a flight to Europe when borders open again - but that’s just a mere 7% of the distance to the moon.
Image of 2020 SW (NASA/JPL-Caltech)
It’s about the size of a bus but thankfully will be a close encounter of the safe kind. No need to panic... this time around.
2020 SW, discovered by @Catalina_sky, is about 15 to 30 ft. wide and will pass by Earth Thurs., Sept. 24, at a distance of about 13,000 miles (22,000 km). Tiny asteroids like 2020 SW approach Earth this closely several times every year and aren't a threat: https://t.co/xKWtzxLI7Q pic.twitter.com/FpkY77zibw— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) September 23, 2020
Sadly you won’t be able to see it with the naked eye, but perhaps it’s enough to know it’s passing by and not destroying us? I’m certainly happy with that...
If you’re after some other night sky action, you can always look for the International Space Station and give the astronauts a wave. Head on over to the Spot the Station website and put in your location to find out when it’ll be passing over you next.