Wednesday 18 September 2013

Asteroid 2013 RF74 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2013 RF74 passed by the Earth earlier today (18 September 2013) at its closest reaching a distance of 2.1 million km (5.5 times as far away as the Moon). The 25 m asteroid was only discovered a few days before it passed by us; the name 2013 RF74 indicates that it was the 1856th object discovered in the first half of September 2013 (period 2013 R). An object of this size presents little danger to us, it would probably break up in the atmosphere at an altitude of 18-20 km if it did hit us, with only small fragments of debris reaching the surface.

The calculated orbit of 2013 RF74. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

2013 RF74 is calculated to have an elliptical 3.77 year orbit which brings it slightly within that of the Earth and which at its furthest rakes it more than twice as far from the Sun as Mars.

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