You can now breathe relieved, as the 2018 DU has just missed Earth yesterday, on 25 February. Even though the asteroid measured only 10 meters wide and passed very close to the Earth, it wasn’t a threat to the planet. Sure, if it would have hit the surface of the planet, in inhibited places, it would have made a few damages, just like the Chelyabinsk event in Russia.
What’s most interesting is that this is the 17th time this year when large pieces of space rock come between Earth and the orbit of the moon. The asteroid 2018 DU passed 175,000 miles (280,000km) from our planet, at a speed of 4.6km per second.
The Asteroid 2018 DU Has Been Tracked
This asteroid has been found through the Virtual Telescope Project. On their website, there was information on the discovery and the tracking of the asteroid:
‘The telescope tracked the apparent motion of the asteroid, this is why stars leave long trails, while the asteroid looks like a sharp dot of light in the center of the image’. They’ve also said that the minimum distance from Earth would be reached by the asteroid at 18:22 UTC, on 25 February.
Known Near-Earth Objects Are Being Recorded by NASA
So far, there are about 17850 known near-Earth objects, abbreviated as NEOs, with their orbits bringing them within a distance of 194 million km of the Sun.
Another close encounter with an asteroid was on February 21, when asteroid 2018 DQ, at a size of 8.8 meters, passed at 21km/s at a very small distance from Earth – only 100,000 km!
There are millions of asteroids that orbit the Sun, and rocks or ice come close to Earth a few times every year. When the meteor crashed in Russia – the Chelyabinsk event, its shockwave damaged over 7200 buildings, crashing a lot of windows. That debris injured over 1500 people.
NASA has a task of locating 90% of the asteroids that could be hazardous to the planet. They have to be at least 140 meters wide and to pass at a distance of 7.48 million km of Earth. There are more organizations that scour the skies for the space rocks, all being tracked, analyzed and recorded in the Small-Body Database.