Monday, 11 August 2014

Asteroid 2014 OF300 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2014 OF300 passed by the Earth at a distance of 1 468 000 km (3.82 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 0.98% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly before 9.45 am GMT on Thursday 7 August 2014. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though had it done so it would have presented no threat. 2014 OF300 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 10-33 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 10-33 m in diameter), and an object of this size would be expected to break up in the atmosphere between 32 and 15 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.

The calculated orbit of 2014 OF300. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

2014 OF300 was discovered on 29 July 2014 (nine days before its closest approach to the Earth) by the University of Hawaii's PANSTARRS telescope on Mount Haleakala on Maui. The designation 2014 OF300 implies that it was the 7506th asteroid (asteroid F300) discovered in the second half of July 2014 (period 2014 O).

2014 OF300 has a 1061 day year orbital period and an eccentric orbit tilted at an angle of 5° to the plane of the Solar System, which takes it from 0.78 AU from the Sun (i.e. 78% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun) to 3.29 AU from the Sun (i.e. 329% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, considerably more than 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...


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