Αστεροειδής μεγέθους ουρανοξύστη περνά σήμερα σε απόσταση ασφαλείας από τη Γη

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Ένας αστεροειδής -δυνητικά επικίνδυνος-, μεγέθους όσο ένας ουρανοξύστης, αναμένεται να πραγματοποιήσει σήμερα, περίπου στις 10.00 ώρα Ελλάδος, το κοντινότερο πέρασμά του από τη Γη.

Η απόσταση που θα βρεθεί από τον πλανήτη μας είναι πάντως ασφαλείας – περίπου 3,8 φορές μεγαλύτερη από την απόσταση Γης-Σελήνης.

Πρόκειται για τον «2017 VR12» που ανήκει στην οικογένεια των αστεροειδών «Απόλλων» και ανακαλύφθηκε πέρυσι τον Νοέμβριο από το τηλεσκόπιο Pan-STARRS της Χαβάης.

Ο αστεροειδής κινείται με ταχύτητα 22.700 χιλιομέτρων την ώρα και εκτιμάται ότι έχει διάμετρο 250 έως 280 μέτρων. Τίποτε δεν είναι προς το παρόν γνωστό για τη σύνθεση και τις φυσικές ιδιότητές του.

Το Κέντρο Ελασσόνων Πλανητών τον έχει κατατάξει στην κατηγορία των «δυνητικά επικίνδυνων αστεροειδών». Το σημερινό πέρασμά του είναι το κοντινότερο που έχει κάνει ποτέ στη Γη, από όσο τουλάχιστον μπορούν να ξέρουν οι επιστήμονες.

Οι υπολογισμοί δείχνουν ότι δεν θα πλησιάσει πιο κοντά στη Γη για τα επόμενα 177 χρόνια. Οι αστρονόμοι ήδη άρχισαν να τον μελετούν και η NASA χρησιμοποιεί σήματα ραντάρ για να υπολογίσει το ακριβές σχήμα και την ταχύτητα περιστροφής του.

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