Friday, 13 June 2014

Asteroid 2014 KA91 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2014 KA91 passed by the Earth at a distance of 3 514 000 km (9.14 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon), slightly before 5.30 pm GMT on Friday 6 June 2013. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though had it done son it would have presented no threat. 2014 KA91 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 15-47 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 15-47 m in diameter), and an object of this size would be expected to break up in the atmosphere between 26 and 10 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.

The calculated orbit of 2014 KA91. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

2014 KA91 was discovered on 30 May 2014 (seven days before its closest approach to the Earth) by the University of Hawaii's PANSTARRS telescope on Mount Haleakala on Maui. The designation 2014 KB46 implies that it was the 2276th asteroid (asteroid A91) discovered in the second half of May 2014 (period 2014 K).

2014 KA91 has an 514 day year orbital period that takes it from 0.91 AU from the Sun (i.e. 91% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun) to 1.6 AU from the Sun (i.e. 160% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, slightly more than 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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