Christmas Eve Visitor

2003 SD220 is a large asteroid that passed by Earth on 24 December 2015.  This image from  NASA’s 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California on 22 December 2015.

cevisitor

The 2.4 km / 1.5 mile long asteroid passed just 11 million km / 6.8 million miles which is pretty close in astronomic terms.  It will pass even closer in 2018 when it will be just 2.8 million km / 1.8 million miles away.

sd220

This second radar image was taken on 17 December 2015 when the asteroid was 12 million km / 7.3 million miles away.

 

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR

 

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