An amateur Brazilian astronomer on Thursday discovered a “potentially dangerous” asteroid safely passing near Earth this week (sept 10).
The asteroid, called the 2020 QU6, measures about 3,280 feet (1,000 m) wide, or a large catastrophe, if it hits the Earth. However, it did not pose any risk to our planet because it traveled more than 20 million miles (40 million kilometers) from the planet, which according to a statement, is 100 times greater than the distance between the Earth and the Moon. Planetary Society.
“In the news, we hear more and more frequently about asteroid discoveries as we are getting better at finding and tracking Earth’s asteroids,” The Planetary Society’s chief scientist Bruce Bates said in the statement. “There aren’t suddenly more asteroids, we’re getting better at seeing them.”
related: Here’s how 2 Indian schoolgirls discovered a ‘Mars-crosser’ asteroid
The asteroid 2020 QU6 was discovered by amateur astronomer Leonardo Amaral on August 27 at the Campo dos Amaris Observatory near São Paulo Brazil. In 2019, Amar received an $ 8,500 grant from The Planetary Society to purchase better telescope equipment, which would allow him to more effectively find, track and characterize objects of Earth (NEO).
According to the description, Amaral’s location in the Southern Hemisphere also provides a unique vantage point for finding such a large asteroid, as many professional asteroid-hunting sky surveys are located in the Northern Hemisphere.
Although NASA and other major agencies track asteroids, the discovery of the asteroid 2020 QU6 close to its view of Earth serves as a reminder of the need to support grassroots astronomers such as Amaral. Casey Dreyer, Chief Planner and Senior Space Policy Advisor at The Planetary Society, also noted the importance of investing in new space-based capabilities such as NASA’s NEO Surveillance Mission or NEOSM, a space visionary to discover and track Has been threatened for. -Economics.
“This discovery reminds us that even though we have found the largest NEOs, we have not been able to find them all,” Dreyer said in the statement.
Follow Samantha Matthews @ Sam_Ashley13. Follow us @Spacedotcom on Twitter and on Facebook.