Monday, 9 March 2015

Asteroid 2015 DN53 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2015 DN53 passed by the Earth at a distance of 15 320 000 km (40.0 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 10.2% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), at about 9.10 am GMT on Sunday 1 March 2015. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though had it done so it would have presented only a minor threat. 2015 DN53 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 21-65 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 21-65 m in diameter), and an object of this size would be expected to break up in the atmosphere between 21 and 5 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface, although since an object at the upper end of this range would be expected to release an amount of energy equivalent to about 12 megatons of TNT (roughly 700 times the energy released by the Hiroshima bomb), then being directly underneath it might be fairly unpleasant.

The calculated orbit of 2015 DN53. JPL Small Body Database.

2015 DN53 was discovered on 17 February 2015 (twelve days befoe its closest approach to the Earth) by the University of Hawaii's PANSTARRS telescope on Mount Haleakala on Maui. The designation 2015 DN53 implies that it was the 1138th asteroid (asteroid N53) discovered in the second half of February 2015 (period 2015 D).

2015 DN53 has a 1293 day year orbital period and an eccentric orbit tilted at an angle of 5.32° to the plane of the Solar System, that takes it from 1.07 AU from the Sun (1.07 times the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun), slightly outside our orbit, to 3.58 AU from the Sun, (3.01 times the distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun and considerably more than twice 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. 

See also...

Asteroid (90416) 2003 YK118 passed by the Earth at a distance of 11 700 000 km (30.4 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 7.82 % of the average distance between the Earth and the...

At three minute past eleven pm on 7 May 1991 the brightest fireball (large meteor) ever recorded was observed over the Czech Republic. This was recorded by four all-sky and two spectral cameras at...


Asteroid 2015 CO13 passed by the Earth at a distance of 5 145 000 km (13.4 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 3.44% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), at about 7.30 pm GMT on Tuesday 24 February...



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