After a visual treat to the total solar eclipse, the world would again be subjected to another marvellous astronomical display which would happen just after another eleven days of the total solar eclipse. The largest ever asteroid tracked would fly by the planet Earth providing yet another reason for the people to gaze up at the sky in wonder.
The entire scenario is boosting up the education and support for the space agencies to know more about the astronomy and astrophysics phenomena. With the current developments, it would be safe to say that the universe is unfolding its mysteries and scientists would finally be able to understand more and more complex phenomenon.
MORE ABOUT THE ASTEROID
The asteroid is titled Florence and would fly at a distance of 4.4 million miles from Earth would be spotted on 1st September 2017. The asteroid is considered to be approximately 2.7 miles wide. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the place where this largest ever asteroid was tracked. This provides yet another reason to NASA for monitoring and studying the asteroid in more depth and detail than ever.
In March 1981, Schelte Bobby Bus discovered the asteroid Florence in the Siding Spring Observatory, Australia. This asteroid is named to honour the founder of modern nursing- Florence Nightingale. The asteroid is going to make the closest encounter this year since 1980 and it will remain so until 2500. The asteroid will be visible in telescopes while moving towards the constellations PiscisAustrinus, Delphinus, Capricornus, and Aquarius.
Paul Chodas, the manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, claims that even though a lot of other asteroids have passed near the surface of the Earth in the past, they were comparatively smaller than the one expected on 1st September. He says that the size of Florence is too big to be ignored.
THE AIM OF THE STUDY
NASA aims to study the asteroid by using the ground based radar for imaging the asteroid during its flight by the Earth. With an expected resolution of 30 feet, the scientists would be able to see the details on the surface of the asteroid which would allow the observation of asteroid’s size, general morphology, shape, rotation, surface features amongst others. This is a great opportunity for the scientists to study the wonders of the universe and understand more about the formation of our solar system.