View Full Version : Asteroid near-miss

2009-Nov-07, 02:55 PM
ASTEROID NEAR MISS: On Nov. 6th at 2132 UT, asteroid 2009 VA barely missed Earth when it flew just 14,000 km above the planet's surface. That's well inside the "Clarke Belt" of geosynchronous satellites. If it had hit, the ~6-meter wide space rock would have disintegrated in the atmosphere as a spectacular fireball, causing no significant damage to the ground. 2009 VA was discovered just 15 hours before closest approach by astronomers working at the Catalina Sky Survey.

That's from spaceweather.com

2009-Nov-07, 03:27 PM
Buttercup. Yeow. That's close. :shifty::doh::shifty: pete

Nowhere Man
2009-Nov-07, 06:34 PM
Dang! We all missed a wonderful light show.


2009-Nov-08, 06:16 AM
that wasn't a near miss- it was a near hit. it nearly hit the earth.
a near miss would have given us a cool light show..

2009-Nov-08, 07:04 AM
Hi, Not an awful lot of notification for an object that's incoming, eh?
Small and black are tough to make out. Kind of like deer on the night highway
where they blend in all too well. They light up well on entry though.


2009-Nov-08, 11:06 AM
A day later, Nov 7th we were treated to an unrelated event, a spectacular fireball plunging into the Pacific off San Francisco. Bright and leaving a trail of white smoke that took about 5 minutes to disperse. Impressive. The brightest fireball I've seen in a long time. (Seen about 5:10 PM while driving West on US 80 near Dixon, California.)

2009-Nov-08, 11:21 AM
that wasn't a near miss- it was a near hit. it nearly hit the earth.
a near miss would have given us a cool light show..
Yes ,indeed , very close .
I've made a small animation of the encounter .
Viewpoint is the sun , looking at Earth , at a viewangle of 0.25 degrees.
Each dot represents 1 hour . One can see the asteroid coming from above , is being deflected and leaves the Earth to the bottom . Note the awfull velocity of the asteroid compared with moons orbit . The two screenshots each represent 3.65 days .

2009-Nov-13, 04:25 PM
Time to search for your red-blue glasses ...
In this animation the close approach is seen from the viewpoint of our sun . 2009 VA approaches from above and leaves towards the bottom of the screen.
Each frame covers about 1 day , each pixel corresponds with 1 hour of movement .
For this animation the JPL data for 2009 VA were integrated friom beginning of 2009 on.

2009-Nov-16, 02:55 PM
On Friday Night 6th November at 9pm GMT My wife and I saw an object which approached our position 54 deg North 2 deg West from the West or more accurately about 5 degrees south of West, and travelled directly overhead until it disappeared in the East. It probably took about 2 - 3 minutes to transit moving across the sky at a similar speed to a satelite. perhaps slightly quicker. It was bright orange and appeared about a 1/4 to an 1/8 the size of the moon. It was a perfectly clear sky and wasn't windy. There was no trail from it. I wondered at the time if it was an Asteroid and didn't take my eyes off it in case it entered the atmosphere. It dimmed down when it was at an elevation of about 45 degrees to the East. It was remarkable and I have never seen the like before. I've seen plenty of satelites and a few iridium flares and it wasn't a satelite. I checked on Heavens Above for that date and time - nothing.
So I was wondering (hoping) that it was 2009 VA and wanted to know what the trajectory was and to see if it coincides with our sighting. You seem to have the data? I haven't been able to find the data anywhere at this time.
Any chance you could share it with me? I am amazed that nobody else reported seeing this object in the UK at that time as it was truly splendid. My only explanation is that it was the weekend of fireworks displays in the UK and that's what people thought it was. But there is no way it was a firework.

2009-Nov-17, 08:36 PM
Data of 2009VA can be found here : http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news166.html .
The time of closest approach is also indicated . You can convert to your local time . Closest approach had a duraton of about 1 hour .