The Tiniest Asteriod Passes By Earth
Just recently, the astronomers have set a new record, having measured a tiny asteroid in space with just about 6-foot wide. The researchers used four completely different telescopes on Earth to review the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) that is termed 2015 TC25, throughout an in-depth passing by the planet Earth in October 2015.
"This is the first time we have optical, infrared and radar data on such a small asteroid, which is essentially a meteoroid," Vishnu Reddy from the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory stated. Reddy, lead author of a new study published in The Astronomical Journal that reports the 2015 TC25 observations, stated that one can think of it as a meteorite floating in space but has not hit the atmosphere and made into the ground. However, the chance of the mini asteroid hitting the planet Earth is quite small, he added.
According to Fox News, Reddy and his team found 2015 TC25 to be amazingly bright; it thus reflects 60 percent of the sunlight that hits it. The asteroid additionally rotates once every 2 minutes, making it one of the fastest-spinning NEAs ever ascertained, researchers confirmed.
In addition, 2015 TC25 seems to be a bit of solid rock, instead of rubbers pile formation like several larger asteroids. The small asteroid additionally consists of bare rock; it lacks the layer of dirt-like regolith that blankets its larger brethren, according to UA News.
In a different statement, Reddy stated that after the 2015 TC25 discovery, it can be inferred that all small asteroids are bald and dust-free. The asteroid was discovered in October 2015, shortly before its Earth flyby that brought the asteriod within 79,500 miles from the planet's surface. Comparing it to the Moon, the Moon orbits Earth at an average of 239,000 miles.
The researchers used several facilities to study the tiny asteroid. They used the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, the Magdalena Ridge Observatory in New Mexico and the Lowell Observatory/Discovery Channel Telescope in Arizona.