Close Approach of Asteroid 2012 QG42

(NEOShield STK animation of 2012 QG42 asteroid flyby)

A potentially hazardous asteroid will make its closest approach with the Earth on Friday 14th September, 05:12 UTC. 2012 QG42, which is the 1057th asteroid to be discovered in the second half of August, has an estimated diameter of 221-494 metres (H=20.4) and will have a close approach with the Earth at 7.4 Lunar Distances.

The animation below is a combination of four images taken of 2012 QG42 from the Faulkes Telescope/Las Cumbres Observatory (LCOGT). Each frame is a 10 second exposure of the asteroid’s movements on September 4th 2012. At the moment of close approach on Friday, the asteroid will speed past us at 11.04 km/sec relative to the Earth – approximately 39, 750 km/h. That’s about 888 times as fast as Usain Bolt!

Movement of Asteroid 2012 QG42 on September 4th 2012
                                     (Credit: Nick Howes, Ernesto Guido and Giovanni Sostero.)

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