1998 KY26 visit – Hayabusa and the raging asteroid

The mother probe continues to move across the solar system and has now acquired another target. It is scheduled to visit the asteroid in 1998 KY26. It is only 30 meters in diameter and turns very fast. The boulder doesn’t take eleven minutes to complete one turn.

There is no danger of collision with the ground

If Hayabusa 2 is already operational in 2031 and reaches the asteroid, it will be the smallest object in space ever visited from Earth. By the time KY26 arrives in 1998, it will definitely have a “beautiful” name. This asteroid entered the Internet 23 years ago to American astronomer Tom Geirels during the Spacewatch project. This was a targeted survey of the sky for objects very close to Earth.

The shape of asteroid 1998 KY26, derived from radar observations during a near-Earth flyby (JPL/NASA)

After the discovery, the asteroid passed Earth at a distance of only twice the distance of the Moon. It gets quite close to our planet every few years, but never gets close to the moon. There is no danger of collision with the ground. Investigations using radar waves showed that the object is almost spherical. If all goes well, the Hayabusa probe, which is on a new mission, will send images of the rapidly spinning asteroid to Earth within a decade.

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