UTC: Coordinated Universal Time.
Dist.: Distance from center of object to Earth's center.
LD: Lunar Distance (384,400 km or 238,855 mi).
Recent approaches appear in grey.
Object list updated daily.
For a complete list spanning the next 33 years visit
the MPC's close approaches page.
The Scientific and Technical subcommittee of the UN’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) held its 50th meeting this past February 11-22, 2013 in Vienna, Austria. Attending as observers were MPC director, Tim Spahr, and your humble author. During these meetings delegates from member states gave a summary of their country’s space activities during the past year as well as showing plans for the near future. It seems like the most popular theme was the establishment of GPS networks independent of the US’s NAVSTAR network, with China (Beidou), Russia (Glonass), Europe … Continue reading…
Due to the interest sparked by the upcoming flyby of 2012 DA14, I thought it would be helpful to place its flyby in an historic perspective. To do so, I put together a visualization of all the flybys of known asteroids in the 21st century:
This “Flyby Clock” illustrates the close-approach distance (both of the nominal “best fit” orbit, and of the range of orbits allowed by current measurement uncertainties) of the closest-passing known asteroids as arrayed on the face of a clock spanning the years 2000 through 2100. Also illustrated are the approximate relative sizes of each asteroid.… Continue reading…
If you have a minimum of interest in Space and Astronomy then you will have probably heard about Planetary Resources, Inc., the company that on April 24th 2012 announced their intention to mine Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs). To get an idea of what they’re about you should watch their promotional video below before reading on.
If you want to watch the whole 1 hour announcement you can do so here; either way, in the following section I summarise their plans for you, as far as I understand them, in the order they plan to execute them.… Continue reading…
FUD, Fear Uncertainty & Doubt; that’s what surrounds NEA (Near Earth Asteroid) 2012 DA14 right now. As the organisation responsible for receiving, processing and cataloguing all observations of asteroids made around the world, we at the Minor Planet Center are in a unique position to understand the complexities of asteroid orbits and their possible encounters with our planet Earth. Hopefully I can distil our expertise and clear up all the false and misleading information regarding asteroid 2012 DA14 that’s floating around the internet and news lately.