Asteroid 2016 RB1 Passes by 25,000 Miles above Earth with Little Notice

Asteroid 2016 RB1 passed 25,000 miles above the earth last Wednesday. Image-VT/Masi

Asteroid 2016 RB1 passed 25,000 miles above the earth last Wednesday. Image-VT/Masi

 


While people on earth were going about their business as usual, an event occurred a mere 25,000 miles above us. On Wednesday, September 7th, an asteroid passed close to the earth.

2016 RB1, discovered by astronomers using a 60-inch reflector telescope on the summit of Mount Lemmon, north of Tucson, passed over the south pole at 9:20 am Alaska time. The asteroid was discovered on September 5th, only two days before it passed by our planet.

When it passed the earth, it was 1/10th the distance of the moon and just 2,500 miles above the orbits of communication and weather satellites. The rock, estimated to be between 25 and 50 feet in diameter, was never a threat to those satellites because of its passage over Antarctica in an area devoid of satellites.

After studying the trajectory of the space object, it was determined that this pass is the closest that 2016 RB1 will pass by the planet for the next 50 years at least.