Friday, 3 April 2015

Asteroid 2015 FX33 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2015 FX33 passed by the Earth at a distance of 5 299 000 km (13.8 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 3.54% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly after 6.45 pm GMT on Thursday 26 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 FX33 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 14-43 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 14-43 m in diameter), and an object of this size would be expected to explode in an airburst (an explosion caused by superheating from friction with the Earth's atmosphere, which is greater than that caused by simply falling, due to the orbital momentum of the asteroid) in the atmosphere between 28 and 12 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.

The calculated orbit of 2015 FN34. JPL Small Body Database.

2015 FX33 was discovered on 21 March 2015 (four days before its closest approach to the Earth) by the University of Hawaii's PANSTARRS telescope on Mount Haleakala on Maui. The designation 2015 DJ215 implies that it was the 848th asteroid (asteroid X33) discovered in the second half of March 2015 (period 2015 F).

While 2015 FX33 occasionally comes near to the Earth, it does not actually cross our orbital path. It has an elliptical 855 day orbit, at an angle of 3.99° to the plane of the Solar System, that takes it from 1.03 AU from the Sun (1.03 times the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun), slightly outside our orbit, to 2.50 AU from the Sun, (2.50 times the distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun and considerably more than the distance at which the planet Mars orbits the Earth). As a Near Earth Object that remains strictly outside the orbit of the Earth it is classed as an Amor Family Asteroid. This means that close encounters between 2015 FF and the Earth are quite common, with the last calculated to have happened in February 1933 and the next predicted for May 2083. 

See also...

Asteroid 2015 FL35 passed by the Earth at a distance of 3 912 000 km (10.2 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 2.61% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), at about 1.45 pm GMT on Wednesday 25 March 2015...



Asteroid 2015 FN34 passes the Earth. 

Asteroid 2015 FN34 passed by the Earth at a distance of 3 076 000 km (7.99 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 2.06% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly before 5.20 am GMT on Wednesday 25 March...



Asteroid 2015 DJ215 passed by the Earth at a distance of 12 430 000 km (32.4 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 8.38% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly before 5.30 pm GMT on Sunday 22 March...




Follow Sciency Thoughts on  Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment