Skip to comments.Recommissioned NEOWISE Discovers Near-Earth Asteroid
Posted on 04/10/2014 1:14:34 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Less than four months after getting switched back on and only days after its next light images NASAs re-commissioned NEOWISE mission has made its first discovery: a never-before-seen near-Earth asteroid 27 million miles (43 million km) away.
Identified in a series of images captured on Dec. 29, 2013 YP139 is a coal-black asteroid about 650 meters over 2,100 feet wide. The image above shows the asteroid as a circled red dot as it moved across NEOWISEs field of view over a period of several hours.
2013 YP139 would be all but invisible in optical light because its so dark, but it glows in infrared because it emits heat absorbed from the sun. NEOWISE formerly just WISE is an infrared space telescope thats specially designed to pick up the faintest infrared emissions, making it perfect for spotting these hidden (and nearby) cosmic objects...
While 2013 YP139 is classified as potentially hazardous and its orbit may bring it within 300,000 miles (490,000 km) of Earth, it wont do so for at least another century. Still, thanks to NEOWISE, its path can be monitored to determine where it may end up in the more distant future.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.discovery.com ...
Thar she goes: NEOWISE images of the newly-discovered near-Earth asteroid 2013 YP139. NASA/JPL-CALTECH
That is considered "Near Earth"? That is 1/4 of the way to the Sun. Not so near as you'd like to think.
I just hope we don’t find some rotted ships timbers or an anchor stone which proves the Chinese discovered it first.
Can anyone see if it has our number stuck on it somewhere?
Not a comet story, but it is pretty interesting...
If you imagined the galaxy being your neighborhood, 27 million miles would be your doorstep, if that.
Not right this minute, but over time, the solar system acts like a big multiringed spirograph.
But we are not talking about the galaxy, we are talking about the solar system. 27 mega-miles is a pretty substantial buffer for something attracted to the sun. I don't recall if the author mentioned if the object was even on our plane.
Just wondered if earth has some sort of cosmic number that might be labelled on “our” asteroid with Gorilla Glue or something.
If it hits, it’s over 1000 feet in diameter, that would be, uh, pretty serious. The Meteor Crater in AZ is 3/4 of a mile in diameter, and was caused by an object about 100 yards wide; let’s call it 333 feet, or 1/3 of 1000 — that’s in all three dimensions, so 1000 ft diameter is 27 times bigger.
Ah yes, a celestial body...
Well then. If it does happen to come at us, you can be sure I’ll write my congressman a sternly worded NIMBY! letter!!!
May be not but he did say
While 2013 YP139 is classified as potentially hazardous and its orbit may bring it within 300,000 miles (490,000 km) of Earth, it wont do so for at least another century.
That is right about the orbit of the moon.
Once I’m outta here, I’ll have better things to do than watch this mess down here. :’)
After I posted earlier I noticed that the diameter is 2100 feet, 7 times in each dimension, so, about 350 times the size/mass of the Meteor Crater impactor.
The Tunguska impactor was about 100 feet across, left no apparent crater, but knocked down trees for miles in all directions. Whatever had been standing in the vicinity of Meteor Crater before that impact was knocked down, burned down, swept away, covering an area substantially larger.
This 2100 footer would be, uh, worse. The only places on the globe that would be “good” for us if it hit *might* be the center of the Pacific Ocean, the Arctic Ocean (more toward the Asian side, please), or Antarctica.