Monday, 25 August 2014

Asteroid 2014 OO6 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2014 OO6 passed by the Earth at a distance of about 4 451 000 km (11.58 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 3% of the average distance between the Earth an the Sun), slightly before 3.40 pm GMT on Monday 18 August 2014. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though were it to do so it would have presented a serious threat. 2014 OO6 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 45-140 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 45-140 m in diameter), and an object towards the upper end of this range would be predicted to be capable of passing through the Earth's atmosphere relatively intact, impacting the ground with an energy equivalent to about 68 megatons of TNT (roughly 4 000 times the energy of the Hiroshima bomb). Such an event would result in a crater about 2.25 km across, cause devastation on a wide scale and would have the potential to affect the climate globally for years after the impact event.

The calculated orbit of 2014 OO6. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

2014 OO6 was discovered on 27 July 2014 (22 days before its closest approach to the Earth) by the University of Hawaii's PANSTARRS telescope on Mount Haleakala on Maui. The designation 2014 OO6 implies that it was the 164th asteroid (asteroid O6) discovered in the second half of JuLy 2014 (period 2014 O).

2014 OO6 has a 1195 day year orbital period and an eccentric orbit tilted at an angle of 1° to the plane of the Solar System, which takes it from 0.70 AU from the Sun (i.e. 70% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun and slightly inside the orbit of Venus) to 3.70 AU from the Sun (i.e. 370% 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...


Asteroid (285944) 2001 RZ11 passed by the Earth at a distance of about 13 150 000 km (34.21 times the average distance between...


Asteroid 2014 MP5 passed by the Earth at a distance of about 6 745 000 km (17.54 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 4.5% of the average distance between the Earth an the...



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...


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