Friday, 27 February 2009

Asteroid 2009 BD81: Potential hazardous asteroid makes closest approach to human planet


If the current projections of the asteroid's next visit in 2042 are to be believed, it will fly past the Earth as close as 31,800 km. It will come
even closer in 2046. Robert Holmes discovered the new asteroid while observing a known asteroid on January 31, 2009. This asteroid is potentially hazardous.


February 27, 2009
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Feb 26: A celestial visitor will make a flypast of the human
planet tomorrow giving a glimpse to astrophysicists of the secrets
buried deep in the asteroidal belt that occupies the space between the
Earth and the Mars.

Asteroid 2009 BD81 will make its first-ever recorded trip to the Earth
after it was discovered accidentally 26 days ago. This is the newest
asteroid to have been discovered, but astrophysicists attach importance
to its study as it is one of the 1000 and odd asteroids that are declared
"potentially hazardous".

The asteroid, in this visit, will fly at an astronomically safe distance of
70 lakh km away from the Earth's orbit. But when it comes again in
2042, Asteroid 2009 BD81 may pose severe threat to the human planet
as astrophysicists fear a possible collision then.

"If the current projections of the asteroid's next visit in 2042 are to be
believed, it will fly past the Earth as close as 31,800 km. It will come
even closer in 2046," Planetary Society of India secretary N Sri
Raghunandan Kumar told this correspondent.

The new asteroid is quite small about 1000 ft in diametre and thus is
not visible to the naked eye. It has to be observed through high aperture
telescopes or observatories.

He said in the next nine months as many as 400 asteroids are predicted
to have a "Near Earth Flyby" or closest approach to human planet. At
least 10 per cent of them are hazardous asteroids with a potential threat
of passing too close to the Earth.

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