2024 JN16 : A Car-Sized Asteroid’s Close Encounter with Earth (PHOTOS)

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By Arezki Amiri Published on May 15, 2024 14:56
A Car Sized Asteroids Close Encounter With Earth

On May 14, an asteroid the size of a small vehicle, designated 2024 JN16, made a remarkably close approach to Earth. This event provided a unique opportunity for astronomers to observe a celestial object passing within a mere 18,500 kilometers of our planet—closer than many satellites that orbit at approximately 36,000 kilometers.

Discovery and Characteristics

2024 JN16 was first spotted by amateur astronomer Gennadiy Borisov using the MARGO observatory in Crimea. Measuring less than four meters across, this asteroid is part of the Apollo group, known for orbits that intersect with Earth's path. The Apollo asteroids are notable not only for their proximity to our planet but also for their shorter life span in astronomical terms—about 10 million years—due to higher risks of collision within the solar system.

Observations During Close Approach

At its closest approach, which occurred at 11:50 AM Paris time, 2024 JN16 reached a peak brightness with a magnitude of 13, making it observable through telescopes. This proximity allowed detailed study of its trajectory and physical characteristics. Interestingly, during its flyby, the asteroid moved inside the orbit of the moon and came into view at half the distance of geostationary satellites.

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Current Status and Future Observations

After its close encounter, 2024 JN16 swiftly continued its journey across the solar system and is now positioned more than 300,000 kilometers from Earth, in the constellation of Serpens. Currently, it can only be detected using sophisticated, long-exposure photography techniques.

The fleeting visit of 2024 JN16 highlights the dynamic nature of our solar system and underscores the importance of continued collaboration between amateur and professional astronomers. These partnerships are vital for tracking near-Earth objects (NEOs) and enhancing our understanding of potential threats as well as opportunities for scientific discovery.

https://theskylive.com/where-is-2024jn16

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A defense and military industry specialist with a keen understanding of space dynamics. Expertise spans technological innovations in defense strategies and the integration of space technologies into military applications.

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