On January 26th Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) 2004 BL86, discovered in 2004 by NASA collaboration project LINEAR, passed closer to Earth than at any time since its discovery over 10 years ago at just 3.1 lunar distances, or approximately 740,000 miles away. Out of all the known NEAs, this one, at an estimated 1/2 of a kilometer in size, or approximately 5 American football fields, is the brightest we know of to pass this close to Earth for the next twelve years. According to NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Near-Earth Object (NEO) catalog, the next known asteroid of this brightness to pass within 3 lunar distances of Earth will be Asteroid 1999 AN10 on August 7th of 2027.
Slooh covered the flyby of Asteroid 2004 BL86 live on Monday, January 26th starting at 8:00 AM PST / 11:00 AM EST / 16:00 UTC – International Times: goo.gl/xnxBG6. We broadcasted the event live from telescopes situated in Australia.
The webcast was presented for free on Slooh.com and was accompanied by discussions led by Slooh host Will Gater, Slooh astronomer Bob Berman, and special guests including Dr. Paul Chodas, manager of JPL’S Near-Earth Object Program Office, and Dr. Lance Benner, NASA Research Scientist.
Check out the highlights above!