A newly discovered asteroid designated 2017 WA14 flew past Earth at a distance of 0.25 LD / 0.00063 AU (~94 246 km / 58 562 miles) on November 21, 2017. It was the second known near-Earth asteroid flyby within 1 lunar distance on November 21 and the second within 40 minutes.
Asteroid 2017 WA14 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. It was first observed at Catalina Sky Survey at 09:49 UTC on November 22, 2017, one day after it made close approach.
Its estimated diameter is between 8.4 and 19 m (27 – 62 feet) and it flew past Earth at a speed (relative to the Earth) of 16.39 km/s at 19:54 UTC (± < 00:01), 36 minutes after 2017 WW1.
This is the first time this year that two known asteroids flew past our planet so close (less than 0.40 LD / 1 LD) within 40 minutes.
2017 WA14 is the 51st known asteroid to flyby Earth within 1 lunar distance since the start of the year and the 5th this month.
Featured image: The green line indicates the object’s apparent motion relative to the Earth, and the bright green marks are the object’s location at approximately one-hour intervals. The Moon’s orbit is grey. The blue arrow points in the direction of Earth’s motion and the yellow arrow points toward the Sun. Credit: Minor Planet Center.