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Thread: asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 7,500 miles above Earth

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    Default asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 7,500 miles above Earth

    Space Weather News for June 24, 2011
    http://spaceweather.com

    ASTEROID FLYBY: Newly-discovered asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles) above Earth's surface on Monday, June 27th. NASA analysts say there is no chance the space rock will strike Earth. Nevertheless, the encounter is so close that Earth's gravity will sharply perturb the asteroid's trajectory. Details at http://spaceweather.com .

    GEOMAGNETIC OUTLOOK: A fast-moving stream of solar wind is buffeting Earth's magnetic field. The combined effect of this stream plus a CME expected to arrive on June 24th has prompted NOAA forecasters to declare a ~30% chance of high-latitude geomagnetic storms during the next 24 hours. Storm alerts are available from Spaceweather.com in two forms: voice (http://spaceweatherphone.com) or text (http://spaceweathertext.com).
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    Default Re: asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 7,500 miles above Earth

    7.5K miles?

    Doesn't leave much error for their calculations.

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    Default Re: asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 7,500 miles above Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Backstop View Post
    7.5K miles?

    Doesn't leave much error for their calculations.
    Nope and this thing was just discovered in the last few weeks.

    I can hear Maxwell Smart now, "Missed me by THAAAT much...."
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    Default Re: asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 7,500 miles above Earth

    HAHA!

    And another: Sorry about that, Chief.

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    Default Re: asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 7,500 miles above Earth

    /chuckles
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    Default Re: asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 7,500 miles above Earth

    Something weird. Today it seemed all the nutty people were out in droves, or something made otherwise normal people nutty. It was a day from mental hell dealing with tons of people who seemed distracted or somehow off kilter.

    Could it be a side effect of the solar storm?

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    Default Re: asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 7,500 miles above Earth

    No.

    They are just nutty people, who tend to congregate together, cause car accidents and idiotic things to happen.

    My advice is "STAY INSIDE" before the zombies get you.
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    Default Re: asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 7,500 miles above Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by michael2 View Post
    What's it's size?
    ASTEROID FLYBY: Asteroid 2011 MD is flying past Earth today, Monday June 27. At 1:00 p.m. EDT (1700 UT) the ~10-meter space rock was only 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles) above the planet's surface. NASA analysts said there was no chance it would strike Earth, and indeed it didn't.
    Astronomers around the world are monitoring the object as it flies by. Using a remotely-controled telescope in Cerro Tololo, Chile, Joe Pollock of Appalachian State University obtained this light curve:
    "Asteroid 2001 MD appears to be rotating with a 23.3 or 11.6 minute period," notes Pollock.
    After closest approach to Earth, the spinning asteroid will recede through the zone of geosynchronous satellites. The chances of a collision with a satellite or manmade space junk are extremely small, albeit not zero. Stay tuned for updates.
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    Default Re: asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 7,500 miles above Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by michael2 View Post
    What's it's size?
    http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news172.html

    Bend it Like Beckham! Small Asteroid to Whip Past Earth on June 27, 2011

    Don Yeomans & Paul Chodas
    NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office
    June 23, 2011
    Updated: June 26, 2011

    Trajectory of 2011 MD projected onto the Earth's orbital plane. Note from this viewing angle, the asteroid passes underneath the Earth.

    Trajectory of 2011 MD from the general direction of the Sun.
    Near-Earth asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 12,300 kilometers (7,600 miles) above the Earth's surface on Monday June 27 at about 1:00 PM EDT. The asteroid was discovered by the LINEAR near-Earth object discovery team observing from Socorro, New Mexico. The diagram on the left shows the trajectory of 2011 MD projected onto the Earth's orbital plane over a four-day interval. The diagram on the left gives another view from the general direction of the Sun that indicates that 2011 MD will reach its closest Earth approach point in extreme southern latitudes (in fact over the southern Atlantic Ocean). This small asteroid, only 5-20 meters in diameter, is in a very Earth-like orbit about the Sun, but an orbital analysis indicates there is no chance it will actually strike Earth on Monday. The incoming trajectory leg passes several thousand kilometers outside the geosynchronous ring of satellites and the outgoing leg passes well inside the ring. One would expect an object of this size to come this close to Earth about every 6 years on average. For a brief time, it will be bright enough to be seen even with a modest-sized telescope.
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    Default Re: asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 7,500 miles above Earth

    25 meters. About 85 feet in diameter.

    Not HUGE, but big enough to make it to Earth and make a dent in something.
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    Default Re: asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 7,500 miles above Earth

    Asteroid Just Buzzed Earth—Came Closer Than the Moon

    Bus-size space rock could have made "decent-size crater" if aimed at us.


    Main Content

    The asteroid 2011 MD streaks past a bright star in a picture taken from the GRAS Observatory in New Mexico.

    Image courtesy Ernesto Guido, Nick Howes, and Giovanni Sostero


    Dave Mosher
    for National Geographic News
    Published June 27, 2011
    An asteroid the size of a school bus gave Earth an extremely close shave around 1:14 p.m. ET today.
    The rogue object—dubbed asteroid 2011 MD—buzzed by at a distance of 7,500 miles (12,000 kilometers) from our planet's surface, or roughly 30 times closer than the moon.
    Researchers with MIT's Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program discovered the asteroid on June 22 and pegged its size between 20 feet (6.3 meters) and 46 feet (14 meters) wide.
    Astronomers clocked its top speed at around 63,000 miles (101,000 kilometers) an hour.
    Although small by asteroid standards, 2011 MD was close enough for amateur astronomers to spot it with modest telescopes.
    Watch video of the asteroid taken June 26 with a 20-inch backyard telescope.

    If the asteroid had been on a collision course with Earth, the space rock would have been large enough and fast enough that it would have made it to the ground, said MIT planetary scientist Ben Weiss.
    "You'd end up with some sort of explosion and a decent-size crater," he said. "You wouldn't have wanted something like this to land in Manhattan."
    Future Asteroid Impact Inevitable
    About one asteroid around the same size as 2011 MD comes as close to Earth every five to ten years, and one strikes Earth roughly once every 50 years.
    (Related: "NASA to Visit Asteroid Predicted to Hit Earth?")
    "This was not an extraordinary event in the world of close asteroid approaches," Weiss said.
    "We've recently tracked five other objects that came closer, and a small one of these actually fell to Earth."
    That was asteroid 2008 TC3, which was about half the size of asteroid 2011 MD.
    Astronomers spotted that object in October 2008, about 24 hours before its fiery entry through the atmosphere. Teams were later able to pick up its pieces in the Sudan desert.
    "Sooner or later," Weiss said, "a bigger one is going to hit us."
    Newfound Asteroid May Be Back
    Asteroid 2011 MD is considered an Apollo-type asteroid, because its orbit is very similar to Earth's yet longer in duration and more oval-shaped.
    Astronomers expect the space rock to swing by again in the future—perhaps more closely the next time around—but it's tough to know for certain until the asteroid's departure path is measured in detail.
    Short of hitting Earth, the closest asteroid flyby ever recorded was made by a space rock called 2011 CQ1. It passed 3,400 miles (5,480 kilometers) above Earth on February 4, 2011.
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