Monday 9 December 2013

Asteroid 3023 WV43 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2013 WV43 passed by the Earth at a distance of 3 643 000 km (a little under 9.5 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon) slightly after 4.00 am on Tuesday 3 December 2013. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, and hadd it done so it would have presented little threat. 2013 V43 is estimated to be between 8 and 26 m in diameter, and an object of this size would be expected to break up in the atmosphere between 36 and 25 km above the Earth's surface, with only fragmentary material reaching the ground. 

The calculated orbit of 2013 WV43. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

2013 WV43 was discovered on 26 November 2013 by the University of Hawaii's PANSTARRS telescope on Mount Haleakala. The designation 2013 WV43 implies that it was the 1096th asteroid discovered in the second half of November 2013 (period 2013 W).

2013 WV43 has a 2.46 year orbital period and an eccentric orbit that takes it from 0.95 AU from the Sun (i.e. 95% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun) to 2.68 AU from the Sun (i.e. 268% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, considerably more than 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 2013 UE3 passes the EarthAsteroid 2011 JY1 passes the EarthAsteroid 2013 VX4 passes the EarthAsteroid 2013 VO4 passes the Earth and Asteroid 1997 WQ23 passes the Earth.

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