Monday, November 01, 2010
The relatively large (600 metres or so in diameter) asteroid 2003 UV11 flew by the Earth two days ago at a fairly close distance of 5 times that from the Earth to the Moon, about 2 million km. A bit of searching through recent pages containing the keyword give us three animations that are particularly good: here, here, and here. The speed at which it flew by was quite high though, at 25.35 km per second.
Next up is an asteroid that seems to be a recent discovery called 2010 UJ7 that will be once again flying in between us and the Moon - 0.7 LD, or about 270 000 km. It's smaller at some 30 metres in diameter, and will be moving by at 9.2 km per second. Closest approach is tomorrow.
One other fairly interesting object in the near future is one called 1998 HG49, which will pass by us at a fairly large distance (55 LD, or 21 million km) but the relative velocity is also quite low at just 2.25 km per second so it should be easy to take long-term observations of this one. Also interesting is how its orbit lies entirely between us and Mars, which is quite rare.