Saturday, 2 August 2014

Asteroid 2014 DM22 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2014 DM22 passed by the Earth at a distance of about 16 830 000 km (43.77 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 11% of the average distance between the Sun and the Earth), slightly after 6.20 am GMT on Monday 28 July 2014. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though were it to do so it would have presented a serious threat. 2014 DM22 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 310-990 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 310-990 m in diameter), and an object of this size would be predicted to be capable of passing through the Earth's atmosphere relatively intact, impacting the ground with an energy equivalent to about 1200-45 000 megatons of TNT (roughly 7 500-260 000 times the energy of the Hiroshima bomb). Such an event would result in a crater between 4.5 and 13 km across, cause devastation on a global scale and would have the potential to affect the climate globally for decades to centuries after the impact event.

The calculated orbit of 2014 DM22. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

2014 DM22 was discovered on 22 February 2014 (156 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 DM22 implies that it was the 562nd asteroid (asteroid M22) discovered in the second half of February 2014 (period 2014 D).

2014 DM22 has a 882 day year orbital period and an eccentric orbit tilted at an angle of 42° to the plane of the Solar System that takes it from 0.79 AU from the Sun (i.e. 79 % of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun) to 2.29 AU from the Sun to 2.81 AU from the Sun (i.e. 281% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, considerably 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 July 2002 and the next predicted in February 2019. As an asteroid on an Earth-orbit crossing trajectory which is large enough to cause serious harm should it collide with Earth it is also classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid.

See also...

 Asteroid 2014 OD4 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2014 OD4 passed by the Earth at a distance of 12 250 000 km (32.58 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 8.4% of the average distance between the Earth and the...


 Asteroid 2014 MG55 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2014 MG55 passed by the Earth at a distance of about 10 080 000 km (26.22 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 6.7% of the average distance between the Earth and...


 Asteroid 2014 OP2 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2014 OP2 passed by the Earth at a distance of 199 700 km (0.52 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon), at about 8.35 am GMT on Thursday 24 July 2014. There was no...


Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment