Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Asteroid 2016 TO11 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2016 TO11 passed by the Earth at a distance of 895 500 km (2.33 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, 0.60% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly after 7.00 pm GMT on Wednesday 12 October 2016. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though had it done so it would have presented no threat. 2016 TO11 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 6-21 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 6-21 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 38 and 20 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.

 The calculated orbit of 2016 TO11. Minor Planet Center.

2016 TO11 was discovered on 6 October 2016 (six days 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 2016 TO11 implies that the asteroid was the 289th object (object O11) discovered in the first half of October 2016 (period 2016 T).

2016 TO11 has a 1084 day orbital period and an elliptical orbit tilted at an angle of 4.36° to the plain of the Solar System that takes it from 0.93 AU from the Sun (i.e. 93% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun) to 3.19 AU from the Sun (i.e. 319% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, over 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...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/asteroid-462959-2011-du-passes-earth.htmlAsteroid (462959) 2011 DU passes the Earth.                                                     Asteroid  (462959) 2011 DU passed by the Earth at a distance of 5 828 000 km (15.2 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 3.90%...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/asteroid-2016-th-passes-earth.htmlAsteroid 2016 TH passes the Earth.       Asteroid 2016 TH passed by the Earth at a distance of 128 300 km (0.34 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, 0.09% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), at about 4.30 pm...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/asteroid-2016-td-passes-earth.htmlAsteroid 2016 TD passes the Earth.       Asteroid 2016 TD passed by the Earth at a distance of 226 200 km (0.59 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, 0.15% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), at about 5.15 pm GMT on Friday 30 September 2016...
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