Attracting attention with its strange shape, the asteroid 2011 AG5 passed within 17 million kilometers of Earth at the beginning of February. This was an important opportunity for the space agency to study the celestial body.
“Our planetary radar systems have observed 1040 near-Earth objects to date,” said Lance Benner, leader of the observation team.
“But this is one of the tallest objects we’ve seen,” added the scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The length of the strange object is about 500 meters
The object is about 500 meters long and roughly 150 meters thick.
Scientists say that 2011 AG5 resembles a huge skyscraper like the Empire State Building in the USA.
Researchers thought it was likely to hit Earth
As the name suggests, the asteroid was first discovered in 2011.
At that time, NASA researchers thought that the object had a high probability of hitting the Earth.
Later, the object, which was found to have a much lower risk of hitting the Earth, was removed from the category of potential danger.
Despite its long history, astronomers have not had the opportunity to study 2011 AG5 in detail until now.
It completes a rotation on its axis every nine hours.
In the new research, measurements from the Goldstone Solar System Radar in California, USA, provided detailed information about the object.
For example, it was determined that the asteroid completes its rotation on its axis every nine hours.
The object completes the orbit in roughly 621 days.
The astronomers also revealed more precisely the path the asteroid took as it orbited the Sun.
Accordingly, it takes roughly 621 days for the object to complete this orbit.
The strange object will make its next close pass to Earth in 2040.