Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Asteroid 2008 CQ passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2008 CQ passed by the Earth at a distance of 1 854 000 km (4.8 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 1.2 % of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), at about 1.20 am GMT on Saturday 31 January 2015. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though had it done so it would have presented only a minor threat. 2008 CQ has an estimated equivalent diameter of 36 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 36 m in diameter), and an object of this size would be expected to break up in the atmosphere about 12 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.

 The calculated orbit of 2008 CQ. JPL Small Body Database.

2008 CQ was discovered on 2 February 2008 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research Laboratory in Socorro, New Mexico. The designation 2008 CQ implies that it was the 16th asteroid (asteroid Q) discovered in the first half of February 2008 (period 2008 C).

2008 CQ has a 511 day year orbital period and an eccentric orbit tilted at an angle of 8.7° to the plane of the Solar System, which takes it from 0.80 AU from the Sun (i.e. 80% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun) to 1.71 AU from the Sun (i.e. 171% 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 most recent having occured in January 2008.

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/asteroid-2015-be-passes-earth.htmlAsteroid 2015 BE passes the Earth.             Asteroid 2015 BE passed by the Earth at a distance of 11 890 000 km (30.91 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 7.9 % of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), at about 8.25 am GMT on Friday 30 January 2015. There...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/asteroid-2015-bd511-passes-earth.htmlAsteroid 2015 BD511 passes the Earth.   Asteroid 2015 BD511 passed by the Earth at a distance of 1 714 000 km (4.47 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 1.1 % of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly before 0.50 am GMT on Friday 30 January...
Comet C/2014 Q1 (Lovejoy) reached its perihelion (the closest point on its orbit to the Sun) on Friday 30 January 2015, when it will be 1.29 AU from the Sun....
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