After a panic-inducing visit in 2011, the strange object continued to fly past Earth in February 2023 and confounded tracking data again.
Ƭheo Live Science, The anomalous asteroid was named 2011 AG5, was first discovered in January 2011 by the Mount Lemmon Survey using a telescope in Arizona, United States. The asteroid caused fear at the time because scientists predicted its 621-day orbit around the Sun would result in a devastating collision with Earth in 2040.
Subsequent observations in 2012 suggested that these calculations were wrong and that this would not be dangerous. However, the object is still classified as a group “Potentially dangerous”.
Abnormal object 2011 AG5 in latest photos
Anomaly object 2011 AG5 in latest photos – (Photo: NASA).
On February 3, 2022, this asteroid approached Earth again at a distance of 1.8 million km, a distance close for astronomy but far enough for safety.
It was also an opportunity for scientists to scan it again and… to be shocked again.
To use Goldstone Solar System Radar powerfully at NASA’s Deep Space Network facility located in Southern California – USA, researchers took photos of this asteroid and discovered that It is 500 m long but only 150 m wide.
It is a strange shape because according to scientist Lance Benner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), out of 1,040 near-Earth objects observed by planetary radar, it is the best elongated object. The others are much rounder.
Researchers have not been able to explain this strange shape. They also calculated that the object took about 9 hours to complete one rotation and did not understand why it was rotating more slowly.
The image also shows mixed light and dark spots on the asteroid’s surface, something…also mysterious.
But these anomalies observed for the first time give hope for a better understanding of the object thanks to in-depth analysis, in particular a more precise prediction of its dangerous potential.
“These new range measurements by the planetary radar team will continue to refine its exact position in the future” – said the director of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNNEOS) at JPL.
The good news is that new calculations confirm that at least there will be no collision in 2040, although it will approach from a distance slightly more than half that of the previous close encounter and it will will certainly continue to require monitoring in the future.
Article source: NLD
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After a panic-stricken visit in 2011, the strange object continued to fly past Earth in February 2023 and once caused tracking data…