How to spot the huge asteroid behind the Geminid meteor shower

How to spot the huge asteroid behind the Geminid meteor shower

How to spot the huge asteroid behind the Geminid meteor shower

Though it won't be visible to the naked eye, you may be able to catch a glimpse with a personal telescope when it passes by Earth on Saturday.

NASA said on its website: "This "potential" to make close Earth approaches does not mean a potentially hazardous asteroid will impact the Earth".

NASA now considers Phaethon a "rock-comet".

The NASA spokesperson further said that: 'Phaethon will approach within 0.069 au of Earth on 2017 December 16 when it will be a strong radar imaging target at Goldstone and Arecibo.

If you plan on sticking around until 2093, however, the hurtling chunk of space debris is expected to pass by our planet at the distance of just 1.8 million miles. But humans weren't aware of its presence until later; the asteroid was first discovered in 1983.

"This object appears to be, at the moment, in a very stable orbit". There are now over 600,000 known asteroids in our solar system.

"By monitoring these PHAs and updating their orbits as new observations become available, we can better predict the close-approach statistics and thus their Earth-impact threat", NASA added.

The asteroids are normally found in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

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Scientists are hoping the unusually close proximity will allow them to capture images of the object and put together a reliable 3D model.

Astronomers from the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University have now published a video that tracks its path.

It will be the closest this asteroid has been to Earth since December 16, 1974, when it was just over 5 million miles away, according to NASA.

It will only be around 1.8million miles away.

However, it is still only around half the size of Chicxulub, which helped wipe out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

It has an unusual orbit which means it passes closer to the Sun than any other asteroid. Helios, who is a god, gave in to his son's pleas and gave him permission to drive the chariot.

Humanity was nearly destroyed as the Earth was scorched - creating the great deserts of Africa.

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