A newly discovered asteroid designated 2018 BW flew past Earth at a distance of 0.43 LD / 0.00112 (~167 549 km / 104 110 miles) at 15:13 UTC on January 15, 2018, 2 days before it was first observed. This is the 4th known asteroid to flyby Earth within 1 lunar distance since the start of the year and the 57th since January 1, 2017.
Asteroid 2018 BW belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids, the most common one. It was first observed at Catalina Sky Survey on January 17, two days after it made the closest approach to Earth.
This asteroid has an estimated diameter between 6.5 and 14 m (21.3 – 45.9 feet) and it flew past us at speed (relative to the Earth) of 6.87 km/s.
As of January 18, there are 17 638 known near-Earth objects (NEOs), 17 531 of them are asteroids. Since the start of the year, our sky surveys have discovered 74 NEOs.
Featured image: 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.