Russian Scientists report Near Miss of large Asteroid
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) , – Less than a year after an asteroid exploded over Chelyabinsk, in the Russian Ural region, another large asteroid has passed Earth in a “near miss”, report Russian scientists from the Moscow University´s Sternberg Astronomical Institute.
The Russian scientists discovered the asteroid on Friday and say that it now has passed Earth and has “disappeared”. The celestial object that almost came to close for comfort, narrowly missed Earth over the weekend. Vladimir Lipunov, at the Sternberg Astronomical Institute, said that the asteroid
“was discovered on Friday night by our station near Lake Baikal, and nine hours later, it flew within 11.300 km of Earth´s surface, below the orbit of geostationary satellites. It was about 15 meters in size”.
The Russian Scientists informed the International Astronomical Union about the discovery of the object. There has been some uncertainty about whether the object was an asteroid or whether it was space debris. Because the object’s trajectory was detected to pass near Mars, the Moscow scientists considered the possibility that it could be a launch-vehicle stage or a piece of an unmanned Mars Explorer.
According to the Space.Com website, 25 missions to the red planet have failed. In some of the missions, the entire spacecraft or the orbiters were lost. Some of the early missions were lost due to radio failures. The Russian scientists suspicion that the object that nearly missed Earth could have been space debris was well founded. A search for the object in the space debris catalog however, could not shed light on the objects identity, making it likely, that the 15 meter object was an asteroid.
Earlier this year a large Asteroid entered Earth´s atmosphere, causing havok in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in the Ural mountains. The explosion caused by the meteorite injured more than 950, among them 150 children. Most of the injuries were caused by busting windows, and in one case by a collapsing wall.