Saturday, 12 April 2014

Asteroid 2014 GM35 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2014 GM35 passed by the Earth at a distance of 465 700 km (1.21 times as distant as the Moon), slightly before 7.25 am GMT on Sunday 6 April 2014. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, and had it done so it would have presented no significant threat. 2014 GM35 is estimated to be between 8 m and 26 m in diameter, and an object of this size would be expected to break up in the atmosphere between 36 and 20 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.

The calculated orbit of 2014 GM35. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

2014 GM35 was discovered on 7 April 2014 (the day after its closest approach to the Earth) by by the University of Arizona's Mt. Lemmon Survey at the Steward Observatory on Mount Lemmon in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson. The designation 2014 GM35 implies that the asteroid was the 887th  object (object M35) discovered in the first half  of April 2014 (period 2014 G).

2014 GM35 has a 3.92 year orbital period and a highly eccentric orbit that takes it from 0.53 AU from the Sun (i.e. 53% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, between the orbits of Venus and Mercury) to 4.43 AU from the Sun (i.e. 443% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, and nearly three times as far from the Sun as the planet Mars). It is therefore classed as an Apollo Group Asteroid (an asteroid that is on average further from the Sun than the Earth, but which does get closer).

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