Friday, September 14, 2012
Here's another fairly hefty asteroid that we didn't know about until just recently that will be flying by. Diameter is around 300 metres, large enough to cause some major damage. It will not get any closer than 7 lunar distances though.
This asteroid has quite the convenient orbit: it ranges from Venus to Mars, and orbits nearly on the same plane as the planets. Looks like it could be a suitable candidate for exploration. It brushes by Mars in 2016, stays close by Venus in February 2020, and has a fairly close encounter with Venus and Earth every few years - maybe about 0.2 AU or so. Well, maybe not quite ideal but fairly close.