800-meter Apollo: what kind of asteroid approached Earth on February 16

Astronomer Voropaev spoke about a large asteroid flying past the Earth

On February 16, asteroid 199145 (or 2005 YY128) passes its approach to the Earth. Its diameter is approximately equal to 500-800 meters, and the minimum distance to our planet is 4.6 million kilometers. What kind of asteroid is this, where did the double numbering come from, can it threaten the Earth, how many kilometers will the size of its crater fall to the Earth? Keldysh RAS Viktor Voropaev.

Initially, asteroid 199145 (2005 YY128) was discovered in 2005 – this is precisely what its temporary designation, written in brackets, indicates. This double “name” arises from the rules developed by astronomers for cataloging celestial bodies.

“When an asteroid approaching the Earth is observed for the second time (it is in the second opposition), it receives a constant number – in this case it is 199145. In the future, the discoverers of the body have the right to assign it a more lyrical name: from mythology, in honor of a geographical object or a person, with the exception of those who are now living, ”explains Voropaev.

A permanent number cannot be assigned to an asteroid immediately – this is due to the error in determining its orbit. Most asteroids are very dim, and therefore are available for observation only during opposition (or confrontation) – when the Earth is between the Sun and the desired celestial body. At this moment, it is well lit, is close to our planet, and the observer is not “dazzled” by a bright star. Then astronomers lose sight of the asteroid and the period of observation is too short to determine the exact orbit. A person will face a similar problem when trying to understand the exact direction of a line from two points located close to each other. Therefore, in order not to catalog inaccurate data, the body is added to it only after the second series of observations at the next opposition – which is happening right now.

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