Monday, 12 May 2014

Asteroid 2014 JR25 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2014 JR25 passed by the Earth at a distance of 861 100 km (2.24 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon) slightly after 10.20 am GMT on Monday 5 May 2014. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though had it done so it would have presented a genuine risk. 2014 JR25 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 39-120 m (i.e. a spherical object with the same volume would be 39-120 m in diameter), and an object towards the upper end of this range would be able to pass through the Earth's atmosphere reasonably intact, impacting the ground, resulting in an explosion 30 times as large as the Hiroshima bomb and creating a crater over 1.5 km wide.

The calculated orbit of 2014 JR25. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

2014 JR25 was discovered on 7 May 2014 (the day after its closest approach to the Earth) by the University of Hawaii's PANSTARRS telescope on Mount Haleakala. The designation 2014 JR25 implies that it was the 643rd asteroid (asteroid R25) discovered in the first half of Mayl 2014 (period 2014 J).

2014 JR25 has an four year orbital period and an eccentric orbit tilted to the plane of the Solar System that takes it from 0.84 AU from the Sun (i.e. 84% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun) to 4.21 AU from the Sun (i.e. 421% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, considerably more than twice the distance at which the planet Mars orbits the Sun). 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).

See also...


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