Asteroid to Make ‘Near Earth’ Approach at 56,080mph
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA — A half-kilometer-wide asteroid named (153201) 2000 WO107 will zoom past Earth on Nov. 29, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
It will be one of the biggest asteroids to pass near Earth in 2020. Travelling at speeds of 90,252 kilometers per hour or 56,080 miles per hour, it will also be one of the fastest.
2000 WO107 is estimated to be about 510 meters wide. Its orbital period is similar to Earth’s, taking 318 days to orbit our Sun. But its orbit is highly elliptical, coming as close as 0.20 AU and reaching as far as 1.62 AU from the Sun.
According to NASA’s Asteroid Watch, 2000 WO107 will pass Earth at a distance that is 11.19 times more than the distance from the Earth to the Moon. On subsequent flybys it will come even closer, eventually passing at about half the Earth-Moon distance on Dec. 1, 2140.
SOURCES: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, EarthSky.com