A small asteroid will come extremely close to the Earth on Sunday morning. Luckily, the object is too small to make impact.
The 2018 WV1 asteroid, named by Northolt Branch Observatories in London, will be the third-closest asteroid to pass Earth’s surface this year at 20,450 miles.
2018 WV1 was discovered at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on November 29. The observatories’ Daniel Bamberger wrote in a Facebook post that he believes the asteroid is unique from most they’ve researched.
“Besides its very close approach, 2018 WV1 is interesting for several reasons. One is its very low velocity relative to Earth: This makes it very likely that 2018 WV1 is a piece of lunar ejecta, a fragment of the moon that was ejected into space when a larger asteroid hit the moon a long time ago. When 2018 WV1 was discovered, the initial orbit showed a 2 percent chance of hitting the Earth in early December. Luckily, that possibility was ruled out soon after.”
Northolt Branch Observatories will keep a close eye on its orbit as it passes by.