Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Asteroid 2016 NA passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2016 NA passed by the Earth at a distance of 483 100 km (1.26 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 5.00 pm GMT on Friday 1 July 2016. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though had it done so it would have presented no threat. 2016 NA has an estimated equivalent diameter of 7-25 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 7-25 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 between 37 and 20 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.
 
 The calculated orbit of 2016 NAJPL Small Body Database.
 
2016 NA was discovered on 1 July 2016 (the day of its closest approach to the Earth) by the Southern Observatory for Near Earth Asteroids Research (SONEAR) at Oliviera in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. The designation 2016 NA implies that it was the first asteroid (asteroid A) discovered in the first half of July 2016 (period 2016 N)

2016 NA has a 676 day orbital period and an eccentric orbit tilted at an angle of 2.92° to the plane of the Solar System 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 2.05 AU from the Sun (i.e. 205% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, considerably more than 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).2016 NA also has occasional close encounters with the planet Mars, with the last calculated to have occurred in April 2014, and the next predicted for January 2018.

See also...
 
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http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/asteroid-2016-jd18-passes-earth.htmlAsteroid 2016 JD18 passes the Earth.    Asteroid 2016 JD18 passed by the Earth at a distance of 625 300 km (1.63 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 0.42% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), at about 11.25 pm on Monday 16 May 2016. There...
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