Asteroid flyby on 26 January

Update from the NEO Team at ESA’s Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme office.

2004 BL86 flyby 26 Jan 2015

This diagram shows the close passage of 2004 BL86 on 26 January 2015. The roughly 500-meter asteroid will approach to within 1.2 million km of Earth, or about 3.1 times the distance of the Moon. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The 700-m-diameter asteroid 2004 BL86 will zip past Earth at about three lunar distances (LD) on Monday, 26 January. The closest distance will be reached around 17:20 CET (16:20 UTC). This rather large object will be visible in binoculars – look after sunset in the constellation Monoceros/Cancer (in Europe, this is looking towards the East after sunset). There is absolute zero chance of it getting closer to our home planet.

Details on 2004 BL86 via ESA’s SSA-NEO technical website.

Access star charts and more details via NASA.

Great report on how to view from Europe via Sky and Telescope.

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