‘Hippo-shaped’ asteroid to fly close to Earth this Christmas

By John Mac, December 24, 2018

This Christmas, an unusual visitor will probably be swinging throughout our Solar System: an asteroid formed like a hippo. The 2003 SD220 asteroid will pass close to Earth this weekend, arriving as near 1.8 million kilometers from the entire world. This function marks the asteroid’s nearest method in over 400 decades, and if you overlook this time you will have to attend until 2070 because of this to technique Earth almost any closer.

NASA has shared graphics of the asteroid that were seized between December 15 and 17 using a combination of telescopes and antennae. The resources used include the 230-foot (70-meter) antenna at the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California, the National Science Foundation’s 330-foot (100-meter) Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and the Arecibo Observatory’s 1,000-foot (305-meter) antenna in Puerto Rico.

The 2003 SD220 asteroid is at least a mile long and has a distinguishing ridge that extends 330-feet over the terrain which encircles it. You can start to begin to view the ridge near the cover of the asteroid in the next image over. It managed to observe that the seam along with other attributes of this asteroid in terrific detail thanks to this potent telescope used-which provided high resolution images. “The radar graphics reach an unparalleled amount of depth and are comparable to those gained out of a spacecraft flyby,” Lance Benner of this Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and scientist at the Goldstone complex explained. Together with the form, “A number of little bright spots are all observable inside the info and could be reflections from boulders. The graphics show a bunch of dark circular feature near the proper border which can be craters.”

Together with using this info to understand about asteroids and their geology, the science community has been getting some pleasure with all the model of 2003 SD200. When declaring the graphics, NASA’S JPL twitter account questioned “Do you desire a hippopotamus for Christmas?” Though some biologists have disagreed, saying the asteroid appears much as a giant paramecium, one celled receptor seen in maritime environments. We leave it up for one to make a decision as to what type of animal the asteroid most looks.