Friday, 8 April 2016

Asteroid 2016 FB13 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2016 FB13 passed by the Earth at a distance of 474 500 km (1.23 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 0.32% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly before 1.35 am GMT on Sunday 3 April 2016. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though had it done so it would have presented no threat. 2016 FB13 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 9-28 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 9-28 m in diameter), and an object of this size would be expected to explode in an airburst (an explosion caused by superheating from friction with the Earth's atmosphere, which is greater than that caused by simply falling, due to the orbital momentum of the asteroid) in the atmosphere 33-18 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.
 
 The calculated orbit of  2016 FB13JPL Small Body Database.


2016 FB13 was discovered on 30 March 2016 (four days before its closest approach to the Earth) by the Dark Energy Camera on the Blanco 4-meter Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in La Serena, Chile. The designation 2016 FB13 implies that it was the 327th asteroid (asteroid B13) discovered in the second half of March 2016 (period 2016 F).

2016 FB13 has a 1388 day orbital period and an eccentric orbit tilted at an angle of 0.14° to the plane of the Solar System that takes it from 0.74 AU from the Sun (i.e. 74% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, outside the orbit of Venus) to 4.13 AU from the Sun (i.e. 413% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, considerably more than twice the distance at which 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). This means that close encounters between the asteroid and Earth are extremely common, with the last having occurred in September 2012 and the next predicted in March 2076.

This also means that 2016 FB13 has occasional close encounters with the planets Mars, Venus and Jupiter. Its next close approach to Venus is predicted to occur in July 2087, the next close encounter with Mars will happen in April 2072, and the next predicted close encounter with Jupiter will happen in April 2025. Asteroid orbits that have close encounters with multiple planets are considered to be quite unstable, as any perturbations can quickly become magnified, throwing the astroid onto a new orbital path.
 
See also...
 
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/brieght-fireball-meteor-seen-over-much.htmlBright 'fireball' meteor seen over much of New Zealand.                                         Witnesses have reported seeing a bright fireball type meteor over much of New Zealand at about 9.00 pm local time on Tuesday 5 April 2016. The meteor...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/asteroid-2016-fa14-passes-earth.htmlAsteroid 2016 FA14 passes the Earth.   Asteroid 2016 FA14 passed by the Earth at a distance of 634 900 km (1.65 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 0.44% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightlyafter 6.20 am GMT on Monday 28 March 2016. There was...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/asteroid-2016-fu6-passes-earth.htmlAsteroid 2016 FU6 passes the Earth.     Asteroid 2016 FU6 passed by the Earth at a distance of 178 900 km (0.47 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 0.12% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun; 176 900 km above the orbit at which the satellites supporting...
 
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