Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
SURPRISE ASTEROID FLYBY That Eluded Everyone
#1
SURPRISE ASTEROID FLYBY that completely surprised the experts

With little warning, a relatively large asteroid flew through the Earth-Moon system on April 15th only 192,200 km (0.5 LD) from our planet. 2018 GE3 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey approaching Earth on April 14th. Hours later, amateur astronomer Michael Jäger of Weißenkirchen Austria video-recorded the space rock rushing through the southern constellation Serpens:

[Image: 2018ge3_strip_anim2.gif]

"According to wikipedia, 2018 GE3 is the largest known asteroid to pass that close to Earth in observational history," says Jäger. "It was shining like a 13th magnitude star at the time of my observations."

Based on the intensity of its reflected sunlight, 2018 GE3 must be 48 to 110 meters wide, according to NASA-JPL. This puts it into the same class as the 60-meter Tunguska impactor that leveled a forest in Siberia in 1908. A more recent point of comparison is the Chelyabinsk meteor--a ~20-meter asteroid that exploded in the atmosphere over Russia on Feb. 15, 2013, shattering windows and toppling onlookers as a fireball brighter than the sun blossomed in the blue morning Ural sky. 2018 GE3 could be 5 to 6 times wider than that object.

If 2018 GE3 had hit Earth, it would have caused regional, not global, damage, and might have disintegrated in the atmosphere before reaching the ground. Nevertheless, it is a significant asteroid, illustrating how even large space rocks can still take us by surprise. 2018 GE3 was found less than a day before before its closest approach.

Based on an observational arc of only 1 day, 2018 GE3 appears to follow an elliptical orbit which stretches from the asteroid belt to deep inside the inner solar system. Every ~2.5 years the space rock crosses the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars--although not necessarily making close approaches to the planets themselves.  An interactive 3D orbit of the asteroid is available from JPL:
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

Reply
#2
So every 2.5 years, approximately, that same asteroid will be back in our neck of the woods again. Maybe in October of 2020, we'd better keep an eye out. Maybe even on election day in early November!
Reply
#3
(04-16-2018, 10:22 PM)Ron Lambert Wrote: So every 2.5 years, approximately, that same asteroid will be back in our neck of the woods again. Maybe in October of 2020, we'd better keep an eye out. Maybe even on election day in early November!

Once they have had some time to observe its trajectory for several weeks, they should be able to know just how close it will come on its future movement.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

Reply
#4
Unless its trajectory has been altered by its close passage to Earth and Moon, or other bodies out there in space. Since it goes out to the asteroid belt, it could even bump into another asteroid. Close passage to Mars, Venus, or Mercury could also affect its course. This thing has already passed close to Earth--closer than the orbit of the Moon. Like it's finding the range!
S11
Reply
#5
(04-17-2018, 08:48 AM)Ron Lambert Wrote: Unless its trajectory has been altered by its close passage to Earth and Moon, or other bodies out there in space. Since it goes out to the asteroid belt, it could even bump into another asteroid. Close passage to Mars, Venus, or Mercury could also affect its course. This thing has already passed close to Earth--closer than the orbit of the Moon. Like it's finding the range!
S11

Yeah, we need another Tunguska like atmospheric explosion like we need another hole in the head. Next time it may be directly over a metropolitan area. Shock
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

Reply
#6
Sooner or later. It probably should have happened before now. Some scientists say earth gets hit by a hiroshima-powerful meteroid blast at least once a year, but so far they have hit in the ocean, in areas like Siberia, or the Brazilian jungle. At least it wouldn't be an extinction level event, just a city buster. Unless the chunk that hits is made of antimatter. A chunk that size (above 48 km diameter) made of antimatter, would likely destroy the planet. Let's hope there is no surviving antimatter flying around in local space. How could we tell in advance if any given comet is antimatter? Just asking. I am not aware of any means for detection of antimatter--until it comes into contact with regular matter. Ending on a positive note: If we could tell in advance if a comet is made of antimatter, we could probably blow it up just by hitting it with a spaceship made of regular matter. Wouldn't even have to have a nuclear warhead.
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Lots of Water on the Moon : Surprise, Surprise ! John L 14 4,578 09-17-2011, 04:19 PM
Last Post: John L

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)