What do we know about the Asteroid 2011 ES4?
The Asteroid 2011 ES4 orbit is still unknown to us. Scientists are trying to recover it so that they might find something new about it. It is anticipated to make its way through the moon’s orbit. The lunar distance can be as close as 0.19. Its closest passing distance is estimated to be around 16:12 UTC on September 1, 2020.
It is expected that a large chunk of space rock will pass closest to the moon on September 1, 2020. However, its orbit can differ from the assumed value. Still, scientists bet that it will not hit our planet Earth. It could pass at about 30% of the Earth-moon distance. But as said earlier, this is not confirmed. It could go beyond the moon’s orbit or even closer than the expectations. According to astronomer Lance Benner, “Uncertainty indicates that it could miss Earth by 0.08 AU, which is much, much more than one Earth-moon distance. If that happens, and given that the moon is nearly full right now, then it’s possible that none of the surveys will find it during this flyby.”
Can the Asteroid 2011 ES4 cause harm to our Earth in any way? Why is its orbit uncertain?
The asteroid’s diameter is approximately 72 to 161 feet. The reason for Uncertainty in its orbit is because the space rock was seen only for four days after its first detection. It was first discovered on March 2, 2011, by the Mount Lemmon Survey in Arizona. Gradually, it fainted, and the observers lost its track. Asteroid 2011 ES4 falls in the category of Near-Earth Objects (NEO). The good news is that it is not a major threat to cause any harm anywhere. It is still bigger than a truck-sized asteroid but not large enough to cause damage.
Even if it goes beyond the expected calculations, asteroid 2011 ES4 should smoothly pass our Earth. So, it is clear that there is nothing wrong about this upcoming asteroid.