At 13:52 the Earth was almost touched by the 2015 JF1, an asteroid that has aroused much curiosity especially for its dimensions, with its diameter of only 10 meters. Actually, in the last week our planet was “greeted” by four meteorites and the last one chronologically was exactly the 2015 JF1.
The astrophysicist Gianluca Masi, responsible of the Virtual telescope’s project, explained that 2015 JF1 passed by at about 300000 km from the Earth, so it was nearer to our natural satellite, the moon . To see the meteorite, a telescope of at least 45 cm was needed, that is not a little one, given the low luminosity of the object.
Bigger are the dimensions of the asteroid 1999 Fn53 that approached us yesterday at about 13:25. Its distance from the Earth was over 10 million km, that is 26 times the Earth-moon distance, and it will not visit us again for at least other 100 years. But luckily, even then it will be so far that its passage will not have any effect on our planet.
“We have been surprised by the interest aroused by this absolutely innocuous asteroid” – commented the responsible of the operations of the Coordination Centre for the asteroids of the European Space Agency – “The only interesting aspect of it is its dimensions. In fact, given its size, it can be observed by a radar.”
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo