Monday 7 October 2013

Asteroid 2013 TO4 to pass the Earth on Tuesday 8 October 2013.

The Asteroid 2013 TO4 is predicted to pass the Earth at a distance of 2 412 000 km (roughly six times the distance between the Earth and the Moon) slightly before 10.30 pm, GMT on Tuesday 8 October 2013. There is no danger of the asteroid colliding with the Earth, and even if it did it would present no threat to us; at 38 m across it would be predicted to break up around 12 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.

The orbit of 2013 TO4. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

2013 TO4 was discovered by the University of Arizona's Mt. Lemmon Survey at the Steward Observatory on Mount Lemmon in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, on 3 October 2013. The name 2013 TO4 implies the 114th such object discovered in the first half of October 2013 (period 2013 T).

The asteroid is calculated to have a 2.8 year orbital period, with an orbit that crosses those of the Earth and Mars. At its perihelion (closest point to the Sun on its orbit) it is 0.95 AU from the Sun (95% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun, and at its aphelion (furthest point from the Sun during its orbit) it is slightly over 3 AU from the Sun (three times as distant as the Earth or twice as far out as Mars). As its average distance from the Sun is greater than the Earth's but it crosses our orbit it is classed as an Apollo Group Asteroid.

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