Asteroid 800,000km2 fly near the Earth

One of the largest asteroids in the solar system flies so close to Earth that it can be observed in the night sky with the naked eye.

The asteroid named 4 Vesta or Vesta is large and is bright enough to be observable from Earth despite being 170 million km away, Metro reported yesterday. Astronomers can see this meteorite on both the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere, near Mars, Saturn and the constellation Sagittarius. The US Aeronautics and Aeronautics Agency (NASA) says Vesta will not get closer to the Earth and will not be able to crash into the planet.

Simulate Dawn's flight through the asteroid Vesta.(Video: NASA).

Vesta has an area of ​​over 800,000 square kilometers, 50 times larger. The latest time to observe Vesta in the night sky is July 16.

Vesta is named after the goddess of the fire and family in Roman mythology. This is one of the largest meteorites ever known, located in the asteroid belt. From Earth, meteorite is four times bigger than England, appearing as a dim yellow dot in the night sky. Vesta is very visible compared to other meteorites on the same belt because its surface reflects more light than the Moon.

Vesta is the second largest meteorite in the asteroid belt, just behind. The asteroid belt is a series of cosmic debris orbiting the Sun, between Mars and Jupiter.

Picture 1 of Asteroid 800,000km2 fly near the Earth
Vesta asteroid is four times bigger than England.(Photo: NASA).

Vesta has a slightly oval shape. The surface of this asteroid is filled with craters, similar to the Moon, which is thought to result from a strong collision in meteorite formation. The largest crater has a diameter of 460 km. NASA's Dawn probe flies to Vesta in 2012 and explores the asteroid details.

Vesta owns one of the highest peaks (21km) that humans have ever seen at the southern end."It is as tall as the highest mountain of the solar system, shield volcano on Mars," said Chris Russell, a researcher in the mission Dawn. Olympus Mons rises about 24km on the surface of the red planet while Mount Everest on Earth is only 8.8km high.