Asteroid 2013 BO76 LIVE – Nasa announces “close approach” to a giant space rock at 30,000 mph on Thursday
A huge space rock passed in front of Earth around 7 p.m. Thursday.
Asteroid 2013 BO76 passed Thursday at a staggering 30,000 miles per hour, according to NASA trackers.
Measuring up to 450 meters in diameter, it is about the same size as the Empire State Building.
Fortunately, the fast object missed our planet at some distance.
It was estimated to be at a safe distance of around 3.1 million miles, according to data from Nasa’s Near-Earth Object database.
That’s 13 times the gap between the Earth and the Moon – a near miss in terms of space.
Read our asteroid close approach live blog for the latest news and updates…
The probability of a collision
In a statement on the probability of collisions with EarthNasa wrote that it “is not aware of any asteroids or comets currently on a collision course with Earth, so the likelihood of a major collision is quite low.”
“In fact, as far as we can tell, no large object is likely to hit Earth at any time for hundreds of years to come.”
NASA hopes to launch its Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor mission in 2026.
If the agency does this, it will finally have a spacecraft dedicated solely to hunt asteroids.
The hope is that the NEO Surveyor craft will find 90% of asteroids 460 feet or larger in the first decade of its mission.
What is a NEO?
NASA considers anything that passes close to Earth’s orbit a near-Earth object (NEO).
Thousands of near-Earth objects are tracked by scientists to check if they are on a collision course with our planet.
NASA monitors thousands of asteroids
NASA monitors nearly 28,000 known near-Earth asteroids, and discoveries of new asteroids are said to increase by the thousands every year.
On that note, NASA hopes to launch its Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor mission in 2026.
How do we find asteroids, continued
NASA has been running a near-Earth asteroid research and tracking program since around 2000.
According to CNEOSprograms like the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona and the Pan-STARRS telescopes in Hawaii specialize in locating asteroids and have identified hundreds of them.
How are asteroids found?
Giuseppe Piazzi, Italian priest and astronomer, accidentally found Ceres, the first and largest asteroid, orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, while drawing a star map in 1801.
Ceres, while today classified as a dwarf planet, is responsible for a quarter of the mass of all known asteroids in or around the Main Asteroid Belt.
Where are asteroids found?
Asteroids are mainly found in three regions of the solar system.
The majority of asteroids are found in a large ring between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
More than 200 asteroids over 100 kilometers in diameter are found in this primary asteroid belt.
According to NASA, the asteroid belt includes between 1.1 million and 1.9 million asteroids larger than a kilometer in diameter, as well as millions of smaller ones.
Has the asteroid passed?
Approaches close to NASA’s NEO Earth The data table now lists asteroid 2013 BO76 as a “recent past” event, meaning it passed Earth safely.
Sulfur killed the dinosaurs part two
This new information was uncovered during an on-site investigation in Falls County, Texas.
Scientists studied sediment samples and discovered a unique sulfur interaction they had never seen before.
Lead researcher James Witts said News from the world of nature that the sulfur reactions they saw can only occur “in an oxygen-free environment or when there is so much sulfur in the atmosphere that it rose extremely high in an oxygenated atmosphere”.
Climatologists believe they can use this new information to learn more about climate change in our current environment.
Sulfur killed the dinosaurs
New scientific research suggests that the dinosaur-killing asteroid brought huge amounts of sulfur into the atmosphere.
A study published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said sulfur introduced into the atmosphere was cooling the climate and causing acid rain for decades.
Apparently, these acid rains had huge effects on the climate, causing irreversible damage to land animals and severely affecting marine life.
What is considered a “potentially dangerous” asteroid?
Any space object that is within 4.65 million miles of us is considered “potentially dangerous” by cautious space organizations.
How big was the asteroid?
The asteroid measured up to 450 meters in diameter.
It’s about the same size as the Empire State Building
Nasa updates asteroid software, part four
Previously, scientists had to manually perform calculations to try to determine the Yarkovsky effect and its impact on an asteroid’s trajectory.
The hope is that the software can also help Nasa spot any potentially dangerous asteroids he may have missed.
Nasa updates asteroid software, part 3
Sentry-II software will finally allow scientists to take the Yarkovsky effect into account when trying to understand if an asteroid is going to hit Earth.
This was something the original software, called Sentry, couldn’t do.
Davide Farnocchia, a navigation engineer at JPL, said, “The fact that Sentry couldn’t automatically handle the Yarkovsky effect was a limitation.”
Nasa updates asteroid software, continued
NASA will be update its 20 year old software with a new algorithm called Sentry-II, which will periodically scan an array of known potentially dangerous asteroids and their orbits.
Sentry-II will then calculate if any of the asteroids on the table or added to the table have a chance of hitting Earth.
The new system will take into account what is called the Yarkovsky effect, which refers to when an asteroid absorbs sunlight and emits it as heat.
NASA updates asteroid software
NASA has updated its asteroid hazard detection software to better detect potentially dangerous space rocks.
The US space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) uses a special type of software to assess potentially dangerous asteroids that could crash into Earth.
There is no known imminent “doomsday asteroid” in its path, but astronomers often check the skies as a precaution.
Types of asteroids – M types
Types M (nickel-iron): are made of metal. Variations in composition between asteroids are related to their distance from the Sun. After their formation and partial melting, some experienced temperature extremes, with iron flowing through the center and carrying basaltic (volcanic) lava to the surface.
Asteroid Types – S Types
- S-type (stony) asteroids are made of nickel-iron silicate minerals.
Types of asteroids – Type C
C-type (chondrite) asteroids are the most common. They are most likely made up of clay and silicate rocks and have a black appearance. They are among the oldest ancient things in the solar system.
Asteroids that have approached Earth: 2022 EZ1
The Amor Group asteroid 2022 EZ1 flew close to Earth around midnight UTC on March 6, having been surveyed for just four days prior.
The 51-foot object approached Earth 4.55 million kilometers away and is expected to orbit nearby again in 875 days.
Asteroids that have approached Earth: 2022 EM
This giant Apollo-class asteroid approached Earth on March 6 NEO Earth close approach data from NASA reveals.
2022 EM flew past the Earth at a distance of 4.41 million miles.
Asteroids that have approached Earth: 2022 DT3
2022 DT3 flew past Earth on March 6, according to Approaches close to NASA’s NEO Earth table, at nearly 12 miles per second.
The 71-foot-long asteroid was about 2.33 million miles from Earth.
Asteroids that have approached Earth: 2022 DO1
2022 DO1 approached Earth on March 6 around 9:40 p.m.
The celestial object measures approximately 48 feet and is less than 1.57 million miles from Earth.
Asteroids that have approached Earth: 2020 DC
First observed on February 16, this small body measures about 51 feet.
On March 7, the Apollo-class asteroid approached Earth as its orbit passed through Earth’s orbit, but it was not considered potentially dangerous.
The house-sized body came 924,000 miles from Earth.
What is a “close approach”?
If an asteroid is within 4.65 million kilometers of Earth and exceeds a certain size, it is considered “potentially dangerous” by cautious space agencies.