Category Archives: Asteroids

Asteroid 2014 JO25

Wow, this asteroid is getting a lot of press! That’s good! The asteroid is not a problem for us and won’t be for quite some time. Check out the NEODyS-2 site page for 2014 JO25. NEODyS-2 is a good place to bookmark as is Earth’s Busy Neighborhood.

The asteroid is large, around 812 meters in diameter and will be about 1.61 million km / million miles (4.57 Lunar distances from us) at the closest so it is comfortably far away.

The great part about this fly-by is it will give us the opportunity to really study something this large and therefore potentially hazardous up-close, perhaps even radar images.

2017 BQ6

A very nice radar image of asteroid 2017 BQ6.

This composite of 11 images of asteroid 2017 BQ6 was generated with radar data collected using NASA’s Goldstone Solar System Radar in California’s Mojave Desert on Feb. 5, 2017, between 5:24 and 5:52 p.m. PST (8:24 to 8:52 p.m. EST / 1:24 to 1:52 UTC). The images have resolutions as fine as 12 feet (3.75 meters) per pixel. – NASA

This newly discovered asteroid passed 6.57 lunar distances from Earth at 06:35 UTC a couple days after this image was acquired. The asteroid has a diameter of 177 meters / 581 feet and will pass again in 2036 (but not quite as close).

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR

Launch Day

Later today NASA will launch the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will lift off on a mission to study an asteroid in unprecedented detail. The study will include taking a small sample of asteroid Bennu and returning it to Earth for firsthand analysis.

The launch has about an 80 percent chance go due to weather at the Kennedy Space Center at 19:05 EDT / 23:05 UTC.

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A LIVE LINK WILL BE POSTED ABOUT AN HOUR BEFORE LAUNCH

Going to Bennu

On 08 September 2016 NASA will launch the OSIRIS-REx mission to the asteroid Bennu.  Arriving in 2018 and after thoroughly mapping the asteroid a 2.1 ounce / 59.5 gram sample will be collected and returned to Earth.

More about OSIRIS-REx

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2016 CG18 Coming Tomorrow

2016cg2018

2016 CG18 is a newly discovered asteroid and it will pass very close to us tomorrow (06 Feb), just 0.39 Lunar Distance or 149,916 km / 93,153 miles away.  The closest point will occur at 13:29 UTC.

149,000 to 150,000 km is really close in cosmological terms fortunately there isn’t any worries about 2016 CG18 getting any closer for a while.  Orbital calculations shown at ESA’s  NEODys-2 site show this is the closest approach until at least the year 2100.

The most remarkable thing about the asteroid is that it is only 7 meters across and the Catalina Sky Survey was able to find it on 03 February — that’s really good!

Image: JPL / NASA hat tip to Ron Baalke

UPDATE:  Just learned of another asteroid called 2015 NJ3, this is termed as a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid”, NOT that is is a danger anytime soon that we know of but one that bears watching.  Preliminary data is just out, more to come.

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

 

Asteroid to Make a Close Encounter

Radar images are improving as this video of 1998 WT24 shows.  Only 400 meters across and 4.3 million km / 2.7 million miles away, this is great resolution.

We have a VERY close encounter coming up today.  At 12:07 today Asteroid 2105 YB is going to pass just 0.2 LD from the Earth.  Thats only 76,880 km / 47,770 miles, very close indeed.  Note there is some uncertainty of the time of closest passage, it’s possibly up to 1.7 hours off.  2105 YB is 10 meters in diameter and was only discovered a few days ago so the number of observations are limited so far and as you can imagine these things are terrifically hard to see.

More observations will improve the accuracy of predicted future positions.  2105 YB might make a good choice for a radar target as any asteroid this close could (not saying it does) pose a potential risk.

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