Thursday, 3 October 2013

Asteroid 2013 SU24 to pass the Earth on Saturday 5 October 2013.

Asteroid 2013 SU24 is expected to pass the Earth at a distance of 1 974 000 km (5.1 times as far away as the Moon) at about 10.45 am GMT on Saturday 5 October 2013. The asteroid, which was discovered last month (the name 2013 SU24 implies the 620th object discovered in the second half of September - Period 2013 S), is not thought to present any significant threat to the Earth, at 54 m across it would be expected to break up in the atmosphere more than 8 km above the ground, with only scattered debris reaching the Earth's surface. 

The orbit of 2013 SU24. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

2013 SU24 is calculated to have an eccentric 650 day orbit which crosses the paths of both Earth and Mars, coming in as far as 0.986 AU from the Sun (98.6% of the Earth's average distance from the Sun) and out as far as 1.95 AU (1.95 times as far from the Sun as the Earth), with an average distance from the Sun of 1.47 AU, slightly inside the orbit of Mars. As an object that crosses the path of Earth, but has an average distance further away, 2013 SU24 is classed as an Apollo Group Asteroid.

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