House-Sized "2014 RC" Asteroid to Buzz Earth's Tower on Sunday

House-Sized "2014 RC" Asteroid to Buzz Earth's Tower on Sunday

RC 2014 Asteroid Animated 310x

"2014 RC" will come within 22,000 miles of Earth, passing beneath many a satellite.

Want to see an asteroid this weekend? Well aren't you in luck! Turns out that "2014 RC," a rock the size of your average Colonial McMansion, is going to pass right by our heavenly body on Sunday night.

The asteroid will pass within 22,000 miles of Earth, putting the rock inside of the geosynchronous satellite ring. The majority of satellites orbit Earth at this range, including communications satellites, and weather-monitoring hardware.

"While this celestial object does not appear to pose any threat to Earth or satellites," says NASA on its Asteroid and Comet Watch page,"its close approach creates a unique opportunity for researchers to observe and learn more about asteroids."

Sadly, NASA says 2014 RC won't be visible to the naked eye, but basic telescope hardware should make the rock viewable (amateurs included). Furthermore, it will be at its closest on Sunday afternoon (2:18pm EDT), and will be in the vicinity of New Zealand. Kiwi readers better have camera-equipped telescopes at the ready, so help me...

2014 RC was originally spotted just this past month, originally by the Arizona-based Catalina Sky Survey, then independently verified by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii.

Source: NASA | Top Image: Universe Today

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With it coming that close, I wonder if it'll get captured into orbit about the Earth. That would present an awesome scientific opportunity, in my opinion, if that does happen.

House sized? That isn't going to do much damage unless it lands in a densely populated region. You have to worry more when it's football stadium sized or larger.

geizr:
With it coming that close, I wonder if it'll get captured into orbit about the Earth. That would present an awesome scientific opportunity, in my opinion, if that does happen.

Unless it somehow clips the moon in such a way that it slows down just enough to no get flung back out into space, I highly doubt it. Those things go super fast and our relatively weak gravity would probably only shift its trajectory by a few degrees.

OT: This is actually kind of scary when you think about it. The fact that this asteroid is coming so close to us and that we only discovered it within the past month makes you think of how many other rocks are on a collision course with us and unidentified.

geizr:
With it coming that close, I wonder if it'll get captured into orbit about the Earth. That would present an awesome scientific opportunity, in my opinion, if that does happen.

Afraid not. It wont be brushing against Earth's atmo and so wont slow down. Though I'd agree that it would be incredible were something like that to happen.

Somethingfake:

geizr:
With it coming that close, I wonder if it'll get captured into orbit about the Earth. That would present an awesome scientific opportunity, in my opinion, if that does happen.

Afraid not. It wont be brushing against Earth's atmo and so wont slow down. Though I'd agree that it would be incredible were something like that to happen.

Well there is a 300m one in a Lagrange point
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_TK7

Also things don't need to hit the atmosphre to be captured.

Most of the time it's done because liquids/gases act as a gravitational dragnet, same idea behind the moon slowly getting further away while the earth's rotation slowing down.
It's why the gas giants collect asteroids like a fashion statement.

ech, house sized. so it would burn down into our atmosphere at most angles before hitting. granted its rather big but not something thats going to destroy us.

Glaice:
House sized? That isn't going to do much damage unless it lands in a densely populated region. You have to worry more when it's football stadium sized or larger.

thats not how asteroid inpact works. a pea sized asteroid hitting earth (That is, asteroid large enough to burn down to pea size by the time it hirts eaths crust) can annihilate a skyscraper. they carry immense kinetic energy. remmeber the russian asteroids? they were smaller than cars when they hit.

geizr:
With it coming that close, I wonder if it'll get captured into orbit about the Earth. That would present an awesome scientific opportunity, in my opinion, if that does happen.

it is very hard to capture bodies for something with gravity as low as earth. object moving that slow would be sunk into jupiter or saturn (where most collision course asteroids end up at btw) due to thier immense gravitational wells) and others have very small chance of actually capturing it. you would need a perfect opportunity for that.

 

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