This Valentine’s Day brings with it an exciting celestial event, as the potentially dangerous asteroid 2024 BR4 will pass by our planet. Although not expected to cause any country-destroying disasters, this object has been classified as potentially dangerous due to its estimated size of 100 to 300 meters. However, the size is just one factor that astronomers take into account when determining its potential danger.
The Catalina automatic survey first observed this asteroid just a few weeks ago when it was about 12 million kilometers away from Earth on January 30, 2024. Despite being classified as potentially dangerous, not much is known about this asteroid due to its uncertain size and albedo – the fraction of reflected light by the surface. However, astronomers have calculated its orbit with precision, ensuring that it will not come close to Earth on Valentine’s Day.
On Wednesday’s flyby, the asteroid will be no closer than 4.6 million kilometers from Earth, which is over twelve times the average distance of the Moon. This detection demonstrates the progress that astronomical surveys have made in recent years and also brings some good news for those who may need an excuse to get out of plans on Valentine’s Day.