Friday, 27 June 2014

Asteroid 2014 MX passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2014 MX passed by the Earth at a distance of about 6 265 000 km (16.13 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon), slightly after 10.30 pm GMT on Friday 20 June 2014. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though were it to do so it would have presented a moderate threat. 2014 MX has an estimated equivalent diameter of 27-86 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 27-86 m in diameter), and an object towards the upper end of this range would be predicted to be capable of passing through the Earth's atmosphere relatively intact, either impacting the ground or exploding within half a kilometer of the Earth's surface with an energy equivalent to 28 megatons of TNT (roughly 1650 times the energy of the Hiroshima bomb). Such an event would cause devastation around the impact site and would have the potential to affect the climate globally for several years.

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

2014 MX was discovered on 18 June 2014 (two days before its closest approach to the Earth) by the University of Hawaii's PANSTARRS telescope on Mount Haleakala on Maui. The designation 2014 MX implies that it was the 23rd asteroid (asteroid X) discovered in the second half of June 2014 (period 2014 M).

While 2014 MX occasionally comes near to the Earth, it does not actually cross our orbital path. It has an elliptical 706 day orbit, that takes it from 1.03 AU from the Sun (1.03 times the distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun), slightly outside our orbit, to 2.08 AU from the Sun, (2.08 times the distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, considerably more than the distance at which the planet Mars orbits the Sun). As a Near Earth Object that remains strictly outside the orbit of the Earth it is classed as an Amor Family Asteroid. Close encounters between the asteroid and Earth are fairly common, with the last thought to have happened in August 2012 and the next predicted in April 2016. 

See also...


Asteroid 2014 KC46 passed by the Earth at a distance of about 4 331 000 km (11.26 times the average distance between the Earth and the...



Asteroid 2014 HQ124 passed by the Earth at a distance of about 1 251 000 km (3.25 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon), slightly before 6.00 am GMT on Sunday 8 June 2014. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though were it to do so it would have presented a considerable threat. 2014 HQ124 has...



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...



Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment