Asteroid could fly 8,600 km from Earth in 2026

Asteroid could fly past Earth at just 8,600 km in 2026

A celestial body 20 metres in diameter will pass dangerously close — 8,620 km — to the Earth’s surface in 13 years, an Italian astronomer has said. The flyby of the asteroid 2013 GM3 April 14, 2026, may bring it within 15,000 km of the Earth’s centre, or 8,620 km from the planet’s surface, said astronomer Francesco Manca of the Sormano Astronomical Observatory near Milan.

The latter figure is slightly more than one radius of the planet, and within the geostationary orbit of 35,700 km.

The 2013 GM3 was discovered in April by Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona, but earlier calculations by Nasa showed it would pass 39,000 km from the Earth’s surface.

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