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2013 TX68

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dawson's picture
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2013 TX68

Have there been any more estimates of how close this 30m asteroid is going to get to us? There hasn't been much "hype" in the press, though I'd read somewhere it was potentailly going to be as close as 15,000 miles which seems remarkebly close.

James

Martin Mobberley's picture
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2013 TX68

Hello James,

The original 2015 arc of astrometric observations for this object was only made over three days, so the orbit was extremely uncertain, with a range of close approach distances possible. Of course, the press will always hype the closest scenario to the max! In recent weeks the orbit has been refined and the closest approach is a LOT further away now, more like 3 million miles! The MPC table (scroll down to March 7) gives 0.027 AU and the NASA page (this page has two tables, recent and upcoming, which change daily and only go back a few days after the event) gives 0.033 AU. The two pages can be found at:

http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/lists/CloseApp.html

http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/ca/

The MPC table lists LOADS of much closer approaches as you can see! In fact, two comets pass a similar distance from the Earth at the end of the month.

Regards,

Martin

dawson's picture
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Thanks Martin. I'll take my

Thanks Martin. I'll take my hard hat off then; that's a relief :)

James

dawson's picture
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It apparently passed us by at

It apparently passed us by at about 10x the distance of the Moon:

http://earthsky.org/space/asteroid-2013-tx68-uncertain-trajectory-closes...

Phew :)

Jame