Sunday, 13 October 2013

Asteroid 2013 TT5 passes by the Earth.

The asteroid 2013 TT5 passed by the Earth at a distance of 4 144 000 km (10.8 times as distant as the Moon) at about 7.55 pm GMT on Thursday 10 October 2013. The body presented no danger to life on Earth; it is estimated to have a diameter of between 10 and 33 m, and an object of this size would be expected to burn up in the atmosphere between 32 and 16 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the ground.

The calculated orbit of 2013 TT5. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

2013 TT5 was first observed on 3 October 2013 by the University of Hawaii's PANSTARRS telescope on Mount Haleakala. The name 2013 TT5 indicates that it was the 144th such object discovered in the first half of October 2013 (period 2013 T).

2015 TT5 has a 397 day orbital period and an almost circular orbit that takes it from 0.96 AU from the Sun (i.e 96% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun) to 1.16 AU from the Sun (i.e. 116% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun). This means that it is classed as an Apollo Group Asteroid (an asteroid that is on average further from the Sun than the Earth, but which does get closer), and that close encounters with the Earth are frequent. It is calculated that the asteroid last came close to us in March 2012 and that it will next do so in April 2014.

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