Near-Earth asteroid approaches for June 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Orbit of 136617 (1994 CC),

and distance from the Earth at closest approach (6.6 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon).


June is fast approaching so let's take a look at whether there are any interesting near-Earth asteroid approaches for the month. Here's the list, and you can see that there are four that might prove to be interesting enough that we'll be able to find pictures taken by astronomers / observatories after they've gone by.

Object
Name
Close
Approach
Date
Miss
Distance
(LD)
Estimated
Diameter*
H
(mag)
Relative
Velocity
(km/s)
(2002 LT38) June-02 37.3 260 m - 590 m 20.0 6.56
(2008 VB1) June-02 72.3 200 m - 460 m 20.6 12.61
(2008 WB59) June-02 77.1 360 m - 800 m 19.4 15.49
(2004 FY15) June-06 36.0 16 m - 36 m 26.1 10.42
(2006 YV1) June-08 41.7 130 m - 280 m 21.6 16.08
143651 (2003 QO104) June-09 36.8 1.8 km - 3.9 km 15.9 10.42
(2006 XR4) June-09 55.7 16 m - 35 m 26.2 7.19
136617 (1994 CC) June-10 6.6 780 m - 1.7 km 17.7 8.39
(2002 LR24) June-12 29.4 36 m - 80 m 24.4 10.88
85938 (1999 DJ4) June-12 70.5 540 m - 1.2 km 18.5 12.21
(2004 RK9) June-14 50.2 150 m - 340 m 21.2 6.28
(2009 KK) June-18 77.2 220 m - 490 m 20.4 11.75
(2008 YC3) June-20 34.5 23 m - 51 m 25.4 6.30
(2005 MR5) June-20 69.4 230 m - 510 m 20.4 14.20
(2008 WM64) June-22 17.4 210 m - 460 m 20.5 17.60
(2008 LH2) June-28 73.4 35 m - 78 m 24.4 5.84
(2001 FE90) June-28 7.0 270 m - 600 m 20.0 10.14
154244 (2002 KL6) June-28 57.5 890 m - 2.0 km 17.4 10.99
(2000 QK130) June-29 54.4 200 m - 460 m 20.6 5.63
(2006 MV1) June-30 9.6 12 m - 28 m 26.7 4.55

The two that are interesting are 143651 (2003 QO104), 136617 (1994 CC), 85938 (1999 DJ4), and 154244 (2002 KL6). Here they are together in their own table.

Object
Name
Close
Approach
Date
Miss
Distance
(LD)
Estimated
Diameter*
H
(mag)
Relative
Velocity
(km/s)
143651 (2003 QO104) June-09 36.8 1.8 km - 3.9 km 15.9 10.42
136617 (1994 CC) June-10 6.6 780 m - 1.7 km 17.7 8.39
85938 (1999 DJ4) June-12 70.5 540 m - 1.2 km 18.5 12.21
154244 (2002 KL6) June-28 57.5 890 m - 2.0 km 17.4 10.99

March this year was the most interesting for asteroid flybys with a few actually making the news, and you can see some of them here. The asteroid that made the biggest news had a magnitude of 11, because it flew by at a distance much closer than that from Earth to the Moon; on the other hand it was a very small asteroid. These other ones for June are asteroids that would be more suitable for human exploration, as they are still relatively close but the larger size is a good thing since it mitigates somewhat the problem of static electricity causing dust from the asteroid to cling to everything, which is a problem that as far as I know is yet to be resolved.

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