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NASA: Near-Miss Asteroids & Other Objects

October 29, 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

Did you know that the Earth has “near misses” with asteroids and other space objects on a regular basis?

SEE FOR YOURSELF…

NASA tracks possible near-miss objects on their web site. >>Click here to see upcoming, predicted events and the proximity to the earth.  **PLEASE NOTE that this page is querying substantial data and it takes a few moments for this page to load.

YIKES! WHEN’S THE NEXT NEAR-MISS EVENT.

Near-miss events happen often.  In fact, tomorrow, October 30, 2006, a near-miss is predicted.  In this case, the object is estimated to pass 268,800 kilometers from the Earth.  To put this in perspective, the distance between the Earth and the Moon is, on average, 384,401 kilometers.  Therefore, this object will pass closer than the Moon.

Object
Close-Approach Date Ascending
(TDB)
YYYY-mmm-DD HH:MM ± D_HH:MM
Miss Distance
Nominal

(LD/AU)
Miss Distance
Minimum

(LD/AU)
V
relative

(km/s)
V
infinity

(km/s)
N
sigma
H

(mag)
(2006 UJ185) 2006-Oct-30 16:43 ± < 00:01 0.7/0.0018 0.7/0.0018 15.60 15.50 1.29e+03 27.9

1 AU = ~150 million kilometers
1 LD = Lunar Distance = ~384,000 kilometers

HOW OFTEN DO THESE NEAR-MISS EVENTS OCCUR?

The table below shows a typical week’s near-miss activity.  As you can see, close fly-bys are fairly common.  (See the October 21st entry, in particular).

Object
Name
Close
Approach
Date
Miss
Distance
(AU)
Miss
Distance
(LD)
Estimated
Diameter*
Relative
Velocity
(km/s)
(2006 TL)  2006-Oct-20 0.0481 18.7 43 m – 96 m 13.04
(2006 UE64)  2006-Oct-21 0.0011 0.4 6.7 m – 15 m 11.80
(2001 UP)  2006-Oct-22 0.0315 12.3 20 m – 44 m 9.14
(2006 UY64)  2006-Oct-22 0.0997 38.8 330 m – 730 m 14.38
(2006 UN)  2006-Oct-22 0.0437 17.0 21 m – 47 m 3.82
(2006 UC185)  2006-Oct-23 0.0162 6.3 58 m – 130 m 9.28
(2002 JV15)  2006-Oct-25 0.0821 32.0 420 m – 930 m 13.17
(2006 UE185)  2006-Oct-25 0.1761 68.5 35 m – 78 m 3.71
(2000 UR16)  2006-Oct-25 0.0639 24.9 56 m – 130 m 16.26
(2004 TD10)  2006-Oct-26 0.2000 77.8 100 m – 230 m 16.61

* Diameter estimates based on the object’s absolute magnitude.

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