Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Asteroid 2015 EO6 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2015 EO6 passed by the Earth at a distance of 109 400 km (0.3 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 0.07% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly after 0.30 am GMT on Thursday 12 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 EO6 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 1-5 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 1-5 m in diameter), and an object of this size would be expected to explode in an airburst over 38 km above the ground due to friction with the Earth's atmosphere (which would be considerably higher than generated by simply falling, due to the orbital momentum of the asteroid), with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.

The calculated orbit of 2015 EO6. JPL Small Body Database.

2015 FD was discovered on 11 March 2015 (the day 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 2015 EO6 implies that it was the 164th asteroid (asteroid O6) discovered in the first half of March 2015 (period 2015 E). 



Observation of 2015 EO6 from the Črni Vrh Observatory in Slovenia over the time interval 8.10 pm-1.32 am GMT on 11-12 March 2015, using a 60-cm f/3.3 Cichocki reflector and CCD camera. The video contains synchronised images from the all-sky camera (left) and the asteroid. There are two telescopes in all-sky camera images - the one in the front is minding own business while the one to the right is the 60-cm telescope. Črni Vrh Observatory.

2015 EO6 has an 1273 day orbital period and an eccentric orbit tilted at an angle of 6.53° to the plane of the Solar System, which takes it from 0.55 AU from the Sun (i.e. 55% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, and slightly inside the orbit of Mercury) to 4.05 AU from the Sun (i.e. 405% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, considerably greater than twice the distance at which the planet Mars orbits the Sun). 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).

See also...

Asteroid 2015 FD passes the Earth.
Asteroid 2015 FD passed by the Earth at a distance of 4 212 000 km (11.0 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 2.82% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly before 2.10 am GMT on Wednesday 11 March 2015...

A second naturally occurring quasicrystal from the Khatyrka Meteorite.
When atoms join together to form molecules of more than two atoms they adopt fixed shapes, as the molecular bonds are held at set angles to...


Asteroid 2015 ET passed by the Earth at a distance of 125 000 km (0.33 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 0.08% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly after 4.40 pm GMT on Tuesday 10 March 2015. There...



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