A newly discovered asteroid designated 2018 NW flew past Earth at 0.32 LD / 0.00083 (124 166 km / 77 153 miles) at 03:12 UTC on July 8, 2018.
Asteroid 2018 NW belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids and has an estimated diameter of 7.2 to 16 m (23 – 52 feet).
It was discovered at Palomar Mountain, ZTF (the same as 2018 NX) at 09:41 UTC on July 8, some 6 hours after it flew over Micronesia.
ZTF or Zwicky Transient Facility is a wide-field sky astronomical survey commissioned in 2018. It’s using a new camera attached to the Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California, United States.
This camera, made up of 16 CCDs of 6144×6160 pixels each, is designed to detect transient objects that rapidly change in brightness, such as supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, collisions between two neutron stars, and moving objects like comets and asteroids.
Asteroid 2018 NW is the 38th known asteroid to flyby Earth within 1 lunar distance since the start of the year, the second this month and the second (after 2018 NX) in just 8 hours.
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.