For the third time in just four weeks, an asteroid will fly between the Earth and the Moon just days after its discovery. Asteroid 2017 BS32 was discovered on January 30th and will come more than twice as close to the Earth as the Moon during its closest approach on February 2nd. This marks the latest in a cluster of late-discovered, close approach asteroids.
At the moment of the asteroid’s approach, starting at 3 PM EST, Slooh will point its telescopes at BS32 in an attempt to capture the fast moving space rock as it flies between Earth and the Moon.
“It raises a few eyebrows when we see a number of close approaching NEAs over such a short period of time,” says Slooh Astronomer, Paul Cox. “We’ll investigate how this could be.” Slooh Astronomers will discuss the implications of this sharp increase in late-discovered asteroids coming so close to the planet, and whether this has happened in the past. They’ll also examine the asteroid in question, its size and speed, while exploring why smaller asteroids so often go undetected until just days before they reach their closest point to the planet.
NEA 2017 BS32 was discovered on January 30th by observers at Pan-STARRS and will make its closest approach at 20:23 UTC (3:22 PM EST) on February 2nd. At the time of closest approach, BS 32 will be just 100,214 miles above the Earth, 60% closer than the Moon.