Friday, 4 July 2014

Asteroid 2014 ME6 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2014 ME6 passed by the Earth at a distance of 3 394 000 km (8.83 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon), slightly before 9.30 am GMT on Friday 27 June 2014. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though had it done so it would have presented only a moderate threat. 2014 ME6 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 14-45 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 14-45 m in diameter), and an object of this size would be expected to break up in the atmosphere between 27 and 10 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.

The calculated orbit of 2014 ME6. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

2014 ME6 was discovered on 23 June 2014 (four days before its closest approach to the Earth) 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 MG6 implies that it was the 155th asteroid (asteroid E6) discovered in the second half of June 2014 (period 2014 M).

2014 ME6 has an 592 day year orbital period and an eccentric orbit that takes it from 0.65 AU from the Sun (i.e. 65% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun and inside the orbit of Venus) to 2.11 AU from the Sun (i.e. 211% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, outside the orbit of 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). This means that close encounters between the asteroid and Earth are fairly common, with the last thought to have happened in June 1967 and the next predicted in January 2018.

See also...


Comet C/2013 UQ4 (Catalina) will reach its perihelion (the closest point on its orbit to the Sun) on Sunday 6 July 2014. The comet will...



Asteroid 2014 KN4 passed by the Earth at a distance of 16 220 000 km (42.25 times the average distance between the Earth and the...




Asteroid 2014 MY passed by the Earth at a distance of 10 040 000 km (26.12 times the average distance between the Earth and the...



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