Eddie Irizarry
Orbital diagram showing inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and asteroid 2000 WO107 on November 14, 2020.

Large asteroid will pass safely November 29, closer in subsequent flybys

A large asteroid will pass Earth at more than 11 times the moon’s distance on November 29, 2020, and will approach more closely in later flybys. Charts here for telescope users.

Graphic showing incoming path of 2020 SO.

Asteroid or space junk? Approaching object might become Earth’s mini-moon

A newly discovered “asteroid” may become a new mini-moon for Earth. Instead of an ordinary asteroid, it might be a lost rocket from the Surveyor 2 mission, launched from Earth more than 50 years ago.

Watch online today: Small, close-passing asteroid

Watch online today as asteroid 2020 SW swoops in for its closest approach to Earth on Thursday. The asteroid will pass just 7% of the moon’s distance. Charts here for telescope users. How to watch online.

Asteroid 2011 ES4 will pass closest on September 1

The orbit of asteroid 2011 ES4 is still not entirely known. Our knowledge of it might improve sometime today – or early tomorrow – if it is “recovered” by astronomers. It’s expected to pass within the moon’s orbit, possibly as close as 0.19 lunar distances.

Picture of damage to Arecibo Telescope in August, 2020.

Arecibo Observatory damaged by broken lashing cable

The new damage to Arecibo, caused by the heavy cable, happened while repairs from 2017’s Hurricane Maria were still ongoing.

How to see Comet NEOWISE

A few observers in the Southern Hemisphere are beginning to capture Comet NEOWISE, too. Charts here for seeing the comet in late July and early August.

Biggest asteroid to pass close (and undetected) this year

Asteroid 2020 LD passed within the moon’s distance on June 5, but wasn’t discovered until June 7. It’s the 45th known and the largest asteroid to sweep within a lunar-distance of Earth so far in 2020.

Poster showing Comet SWAN and advertising Virtual Telesocpe's May 27 online event.

View Comet SWAN online

We suspect most of you have not seen this comet, which is rising only shortly before the sun now. Let the Virtual Telescope’s Gianluca Masi show it to you online this week.

A large boulder-like asteroid tumbling in space.

Online viewing of large asteroid rescheduled for April 29

A cloudy sky last night prevented the online viewing of large, close-passing asteroid 1998 OR2. The Virtual Telescope Project will be trying again today to show you the asteroid, which passed us earlier today.

Will you see BepiColombo’s goodbye flyby on April 9?

BepiColombo is a spacecraft on a roundabout journey to Mercury. It’ll sweep near Earth tonight, using Earth as a gravity slingshot to send it hurtling toward the inner solar system. For most of us, BepiColombo will pass unseen. But people with telescopes might spot it! Charts and more here.