Monday, 30 November 2015

Asteroid 2015 VE65 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2015 VE65 passed by the Earth at a distance of 18 410 000 km (47.9 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 12.3% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly after 4.10 pm GMT on Monday 23 November 2015. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though had it done so it would have presented a genuine threat. 2015 VE65 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 36-110 m (i.e. a spherical body with the same mass would be 36-110 m in diameter), and an object towards the upper end of this range would pass through the atmosphere and directly impact the ground with a force of about 55 megatons (about 3235 times the explosive energy of the Hiroshima bomb), causing devastation over a wide area and creating a crater over 1.3 km across, and resulting in global climatic problems that could last for years or even decades.
 
 The calculated orbit of 2015 VE65. JPL Small Body Database.
 
2015 VE65 was discovered on 7 November 2015 (16 days after 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 VE65 implies that the asteroid was the 1630th object (object E65) discovered in the first half of November 2015 (period 2015 V).
 
2015 VE65 has a 462 day orbital period and an eccentric orbit tilted at an angle of 19.3° to the plane of the Solar System that takes it from 0.78 AU from the Sun (i.e. 78% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, and slightly outside the orbit of Venus) to 1.56 AU from the Sun (i.e. 156% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, slightly more than the distance at which 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...
 
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/asteroid-2015-wp2-passes-earth.htmlAsteroid 2015 WP2 passes the Earth.     Asteroid 2015 WP2 passed by the Earth at a distance of 229 800 km (0.6 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 0.16% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun; but 575.4 times as far from the Earth as the International...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/asteroid-2015-vv2-passes-earth.htmlAsteroid 2015 VV2 passes the Earth.      Asteroid 2015 VV2 passed by the Earth at a distance of 6 623 000 km (17.2 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 4.43% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly after 10.30  pm on Wednesday 18 November 2015...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/asteroid-2015-vd105-passes-earth.htmlAsteroid 2015 VD105 passes the Earth. Asteroid 2015 VD105 passed by the Earth at a distance of 2 777 000 km (7.22 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 1.86% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly before 4.25 pm on Monday 16 November...
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