Sunday 13 October 2013

Asteroid 2013 TL127 flies past the Earth.

The Asteroid 2013 TL127 flew past the Earth at a distance of 376 500 km, slightly before 2.25 am GMT on Wednesday 9 October 2013. This is approximately 7900 km closer than the average distance to the Moon, but not as close as the Moon, which has an elliptical orbit, gets at its nearest. 2013 TL 127 presented no danger to us, it is estimated to be between 11 and 36 m in diameter, and an object this size would be expected to break up in the atmosphere between 32 and 10 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the planet's surface.

The calculated orbit of 2013 TL127. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

2013 TL127 was discovered on 11 October 2013 (i.e. as it was moving away from us) by the University of Arizona's Catalina Sky Survey in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson. The name 2013 TB6 implies it was the 3186th object discovered in the first half of October 2013 (period 2013 T).

2013 TL127 is calculated to have a four year orbital period, with an orbit that crosses those of the Earth and Mars. At its perihelion (closest point to the Sun on its orbit) it is 0.86 AU from the Sun (86% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun, and at its aphelion (furthest point from the Sun during its orbit) it is slightly over 4.16 AU from the Sun (4.6 times as distant as the Earth and closer to the orbit of Jupiter than to that of Mars). As its average distance from the Sun is greater than the Earth's but it crosses our orbit it is classed as an Apollo Group Asteroid.

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