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Earth Safe from Asteroid 2012 LZ1 for 750 Years

26 Jun 2012, 05:39 UTC
Earth Safe from Asteroid 2012 LZ1 for 750 Years
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Asteroid 2012 LZ1 was discovered on June 10, 2012 and classified as potentially hazardous since its orbit comes within the prescribed 20 lunar distances of Earth. New observations from the Arecibo observatory have found that, although the asteroid is twice as large as originally thought, it is not likely to pose a collision hazard within [...]

Asteroid 2012 LZ1 as photographed by the Arecibo Observatory (Credits: Arecibo).
Asteroid 2012 LZ1 was discovered on June 10, 2012 and classified as potentially hazardous since its orbit comes within the prescribed 20 lunar distances of Earth. New observations from the Arecibo observatory have found that, although the asteroid is twice as large as originally thought, it is not likely to pose a collision hazard within the next 750 years.
“This object turned out to be quite a bit bigger than we expected, which shows how important radar observations can be,” commented Dr. Ellen Howell of Arecibo. She added: “We’re still learning a lot about the population of asteroids.”
The latest observations showed 2012 LZ1 to be about 1 kilometer in diameter. It was initially thought to be much smaller because its surface is quite dark, reflecting only 2-4% of incident light.
The asteroid ...

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