Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2014 CU13 close encounter: online event (9 Mar. 2014)

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5 Responses

  1. macmcrae says:

    thanks for not writing an opening sentence that makes it sound like it is going to hit us. what some sites do for hits is embarrassing.

    • Gianluca Masi says:

      as astronomers, we want to spread correct info. Thanks for appreciating this!

  2. sean says:

    is this astroid going to be closer towards the moon instead of us and what line will cross first or will those two dots run into each other.

  3. Isaac says:

    Describing Asteroid 2014 CU13 as “potentially hazardous” seems like a bit of a reach to be honest. Considering Asteroid 2014 DX110 has about a 1 in 10 million chance to strike earth on its next pass around in 2046 (according NASA), what are the chances Asteroid 2014 CU13 will strike earth? I understand the chances are slim to none, i’m simply curious as to what to compare this “hazard” to.

  4. Gianluca Masi says:

    Isaac, an asteroid is formally said to be “potentially hazardous” under very specific circumstances: it has to be bigger than a given value (~150 meters) and moving on a orbit approaching us below 7.5 millions of km.

    2014 DX110, for example, was not flagged as a PHA because, while coming quite close, it was small.

    I suggest you to read this PHA description, from neo.jpl.nasa.gov

    “Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth. Specifically, all asteroids with an Earth Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance (MOID) of 0.05 AU or less and an absolute magnitude (H) of 22.0 or less are considered PHAs. In other words, asteroids that can’t get any closer to the Earth (i.e. MOID) than 0.05 AU (roughly 7,480,000 km or 4,650,000 mi) or are smaller than about 150 m (500 ft) in diameter (i.e. H = 22.0 with assumed albedo of 13%) are not considered PHAs.

    There are currently 1458 known PHAs.

    This “potential” to make close Earth approaches does not mean a PHA will impact the Earth. It only means there is a possibility for such a threat. By monitoring these PHAs and updating their orbits as new observations become available, we can better predict the close-approach statistics and thus their Earth-impact threat.”

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