Whoa! Another asteroid whizzes past Earth hours after discovery

Thousands of tiny moving dots with thin colored rings on black background.
There are thousands of near-Earth asteroids in the inner solar system, as depicted in this graphic. Some known and some unknown. Another asteroid discovered by the same astronomer to discover 2022 EB5 in early March made a close pass with Earth in the early hours of March 25, 2022. Image via NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ Wikimedia Commons.

Another asteroid whizzes past Earth overnight

Overnight on March 24-25, 2022, another small asteroid raced toward Earth, unseen until hours before its closest approach. Hungarian astronomer Krisztián Sárneczky, same astronomer who first spotted asteroid 2022 EB5 earlier this month hours before it hit Earth near Iceland, found this new asteroid, too. He caught it just hours before it sped by Earth. This asteroid is labeled Sar2594. Its close encounter with Earth came at 8:10 UTC or 3:10 a.m. CDT.

This time, instead of a collision, the space rock slipped through Earth’s shadow.

It passed at a distance of about 5,400 miles (8,700 km). That’s in contrast to the moon’s distance of 238,900 miles (384,000 km).

Sar2594 is categorized as a Near-Earth Object, or NEO. It raced by at about 40,265 miles an hour (18 km/s).

Tweets of discovery

Updates on Sar2594

Sar2594 now has an official designation: 2022 FD1. Sárneczky says the asteroid is about 2-4 meters in size. This could put it in the running for the smallest asteroid known. The current record holder is 2015 TC25, which is approximately 6 feet or 2 meters in diameter.

The asteroid’s flyby of Earth changed its course. Sárneczky and Tony Dunn share charts and simulations of 2022 FD1’s inclination:

Bottom line: Another asteroid whizzes past Earth hours after discovery. The asteroid, Sar2594, was discovered by the same astronomer, Krisztián Sárneczky, who discovered 2022 EB5, which impacted near Iceland earlier this month.

March 25, 2022

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Kelly Kizer Whitt

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