According to foreign media reports, this week, an asteroid “intimate contact” with the geosynchronous orbit communication satellite”. The asteroid, with a diameter of 4 to 8 meters (13 to 20 feet), flew over the Earth at a distance of about 1200 kilometers (750 miles) at 18:49 World Standard Time on April 28, become one of the asteroids closest to Earth on record.
Geosynchronous satellites or geostationary satellites are located in the orbital zone above the equator, and their orbital periods are equal to the Earth’s rotation, which means that they always remain above the same place. These satellites constitute the backbone of the orbital communication system, and mission planners have gone to great lengths to ensure that spacecraft do not interfere with each other. However, sometimes unexpected dangers appear very suddenly.
According to ESA, NASA’s panoramic Sky Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) observed a celestial body in Hawaii on April 26. The celestial body was initially unrecognized and was observed again the next night and was given the temporary name of P20Zlf8-later changed to 2020 HS7.
2020 HS7 is not just another asteroid. The calculation results show that it has a 10% probability of colliding with the Earth, so space scientists are immediately interested. Less than an hour after the first report was released, China’s star Observatory mapped its position, trajectory and brightness. Subsequently, the Tautenburg Observatory in Germany improved these observations.
The good news is that the 2020 HS7 will not collide with the Earth after all, even if it hits, it will burn in the atmosphere, and its volume is very small. According to measurement, it is only 1200 kilometers (746 miles) from the nearest satellite.
ESA said that the 2020 HS7 flyover provided scientists with a quick and accurate exercise to track and describe the characteristics of new asteroids, while coordinating follow-up observations and making extremely accurate measurements, it is confirmed that 2020 HS7 is one of the 50 celestial bodies closest to the Earth since records began.