……………………..Limits are for governments.

Upcoming Earth-Asteroid Encounter – .4 Lunar Distance

This is going to be close. There will likely be a very large explosion or electrical response from the earth when this goes by. Both the previous low solar activity, and the sudden X-flares from the sun, will make this an electrical transaction between the charged earth and the charged asteroid.

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
2014 UF56  Oct 27  0.4 LD  15 m

At the very least, we should be experiencing something like this:

via spaceweather.com “Valentine’s Day in Scandinavia began with a magnetic storm. Rob Stammes of the Polar Light Center in Lofoten, Norway, reports: “Our instruments recorded 2o swings in the local magnetic field, which induced strong electrical currents in the ground outside our lab.” The needles on his chart recorder were swinging wildly. “Overhead we saw some fantastic auroras,” he adds.”

Examples of electrical explosions and arcing between bodies in space:

Footage from the Siding Spring encounter with Mars showed an exceedingly bright flash.

Flash from projectile hitting Temple 1

The near earth asteroid of February 14, 2013 was also highly energetic according to many.

Shoemaker Levy broke apart and struck Jupiter with many flashes of extraordinary intensity.

From The Virtual Telescope:

I believe this could leave a mark, based on the recent Mars encounter.


41 responses

  1. Asteroid 2014 UF56 very close encounter
    online observing session
    0 : 12 : 52 : 35
    Day Hr Min Sec

    Next event: “Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 UF56 very close encounter: online event” – 27 Oct. 2014, 19:00 UT

    October 26, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    • Gone

      Time since Event started in
      0 : 00 : 00 : 00
      Day Hr Min Sec

      October 27, 2014 at 1:34 pm

  2. UF56 will pass about 95,542 miles from Earth. Siding Spring passed at about 87,000 miles from Mars – about 1/3 the distance between the Earth and moon.

    October 26, 2014 at 11:20 pm

  3. http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=13&month=02&year=2013

    VALENTINE’S DAY MAGNETIC STORM: Valentine’s Day in Scandinavia began with a magnetic storm. Rob Stammes of the Polar Light Center in Lofoten, Norway, reports: “Our instruments recorded 2o swings in the local magnetic field, which induced strong electrical currents in the ground outside our lab.” The needles on his chart recorder were swinging wildly:

    “Overhead we saw some fantastic auroras,” he adds.

    The storm was caused by a region of south-pointing magnetism in the solar wind that wafted past Earth during the early hours of Feb. 14th. The solar wind’s south-pointing magnetic field partially canceled Earth’s north-pointing magnetic field, opening a crack in our planet’s magnetosphere. Solar wind poured in to fuel the storm.

    ASTEROID FLYBY: At 9:30 am on Friday, Feb. 15th, asteroid 2012 DA14 will fly past Earth only 17,200 miles above our planet’s surface. This will put it well inside the orbit of geosynchronous satellites, closer than any asteroid of the same size has come since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s. Researchers speculate that Earth’s gravity might even cause seismic activity on the 50m-wide space rock. Click to view a computer simulation of the flyby, courtesy of NASA:

    During the hours around closest approach, the asteroid will brighten until it resembles a star of 8th magnitude. Theoretically, that’s an easy target for backyard telescopes. The problem is speed. The asteroid will be racing across the sky, moving almost a full degree (or twice the width of a full Moon) every minute. That’s going to be hard to track. Only the most experienced amateur astronomers are likely to succeed. For the rest of us, NASA will broadcast the asteroid’s flyby on NASA TV.

    Asteroid 2012 DA14 is about the same size as previous asteroids responsible for the Meteor Crater in Arizona and the Tunguska Event in Siberia. Unlike those objects, however, 2012 DA14 will not hit Earth. Even if seismic activity breaks the asteroid apart, there is no danger; the fragments would continue along the same non-intersecting path as the original asteroid.

    Next day:

    RUSSIAN METEOR UPDATE: On Friday, February 15th at 9:30 am local time in Russia, a small asteroid struck the atmosphere over the city of Chelyabinsk and exploded. According to reports from news organizations and Russian authorities, as many as 1000 people received minor injuries from the shock wave. This is the most energetic recorded meteor strike since the Tunguska impact of 1908.

    Researchers including Prof. Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario along with NASA experts have conducted a preliminary analysis of the event. “Here is what we know so far,” says Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “The asteroid was about 15 meters in diameter and weighed approximately 7000 metric tons. It struck Earth’s atmosphere at 40,000 mph (18 km/s) and broke apart about 12 to 15 miles (20 to 25 km) above Earth’s surface. The energy of the resulting explosion was in the vicinity of 300 kilotons of TNT.” (continued below)

    “A shock wave propagated down and struck the city below, causing large numbers of windows to break, some walls to collapse, and minor damage throughout the city,” he continued. “When you hear about injuries, those are undoubtedly due to the effects of the shock wave, not due to fragments striking the ground. There are undoubtedly fragments on the ground, but as of this time we know of no recovered fragments that we can verify.”

    Videos of the event may be found here and here. In many of the videos you can hear the sound of windows shattering as the meteor’s loud shock wave reaches the ground. Onlookers cry out in Russian as alarms and sirens sound in the background. This pair of wide-angle gif animations is also worth watching: #1, #2.

    It is natural to wonder if this event has any connection to today’s record-setting flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14. Paul Chodas of the Near Earth Object Program at JPL says no. “The Russian fireball is not related to 2012 DA14 in any way. It’s an incredible coincidence that we have had these two rare events in one day.”

    Stay tuned for updates!

    GOOD-BYE 2012 DA14: Asteroid 2012 DA14 few past Earth on Feb. 15th inside the orbit of many geosynchronous satellites. At closest approach, around 2:25 pm EST, the 45-meter wide space rock was only 17,200 miles above Indonesia. No satellites were damaged by the flyby, and the asteroid is now receding from Earth.

    Using a 3″ refractor at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia, Aaron Kingery captured this image of 2012 DA14 passing in front of the eta Carina Nebula:

    NASA’s Goldstone radar in the Mojave Desert will ping the space rock for the next four days to refine its orbit and map its surface features. Researchers will look carefully for signs that Earth’s gravity might have caused seismic activity on the asteroid.

    October 26, 2014 at 11:33 pm

  4. http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=13&month=02&year=2013

    See the graph indicating the induced ground current on the Valentine’s Day 2013 Asteroid flyby. It should be compared to this fly by.

    October 26, 2014 at 11:44 pm

  5. I fixed the title for capitalization. (:

    We should be experiencing something like this:
    IMAGE CREDIT spaceweather.com

    October 27, 2014 at 12:09 am

  6. “Barry Freas took the picture on October 26th from Red Hill, Kentucky. “It was a very foggy morning,” he says. “AR2192 was remarkable.”

    Big sunspots tend to produce strong flares, and AR2192 is no exception. It is crackling with magnetic activity. Since the active region appeared on Oct. 19th it has unleashed 5 X-flares and a dozen M-flares. The most intense of these flares have caused HF radio blackouts and other communication disturbances on the dayside of Earth.

    Usually, strong flares are accompanied by massive CMEs–billion-ton clouds of electrified gas that billow away from the blast site. So far, however, none of the eruptions from AR2192 has produced a major CME. Without a series of CMEs to hit Earth and rattle our planet’s magnetic field, there have been no geomagnetic storms nor any widespread auroras.” spaceweather.com

    October 27, 2014 at 10:34 am

  7. Scute and Frank Davis have generated some simulated trajectories for other near-Earth asteroids, and found agreement with fireballs reaching earth at the same time. Frank Davis now is looking into UF56.


    October 27, 2014 at 10:44 am

  8. Scute

    Hi Zeke

    I just saw your reply at Tallbloke’s Talkshop suggestions page so I clicked on the link and came over. That’s an interesting article. I knew about the flare but didn’t think about the asteroid passing just as the flare hits us so that’s going to be interesting. I’m going to reply at the Talk shop too with some links but not for a day or so. I’ve got copy and pasting problems at the moment. Clip board won’t hold the links to paste. However if you search the Talkshop for Andrew Cooper 2012 DA14 you will see Frank’s and my collaboration on the possible link to the Russian meteor (mostly us stumbling towards a workable theory over 600 comments!).

    Also, I’ve got an idea that the comet 67P/C-G they sent Rosetta to, underwent a spectacular close approach to Jupiter (circumstantial evidence only)- passing through the rings and stretching into the two lobes we see in the Rosetta pictures. This stretch would be due to passing under the Roche limit. I’ve written long comments on the ESA rosetta blog. You can search for the blog and click on “Perfume of 67/C-G” which they posted a few days back. My comment there explains all.

    Anyway, three hours to the asteroid close approach. Let’s hope for some fireworks!

    October 27, 2014 at 11:36 am

    • Link for Scute’s Rosetta thread:

      Sorry to hear about the technical problems. I remember the Russian meteor thread at tallbloke’s, and I was very glad you kept soldiering on for the connection with the Valentine’s Day asteroid. I usually do not interfere with brainstorming for theories. But it should not have been dismissed as a coincidence!

      Asteroids can interact with Earth’s magnetic field, etc.. So there is still plenty of chance for an event. The more eyes the better.

      October 27, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Frank Davis says:
    October 27, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Above shows Earth (3) at the centre, Moon (6) going round it, UF56 (14) coming in about half way between the two. I make closest approach 21:21 UTC today. It’s more or less in the same plane as Earth and Moon. Sun is out bottom left of image, so UF56 is on sun side of Earth.

    b[14] UF56 A.D. 2014-Oct-15 12:26:00.0000_1 closest approach[0] to b[3] Earth_1: 164283.66 km on 27 Oct 2014 21:21:36 dt=4.0 s JD 2456958.390002072
    UF56 A.D. 2014-Oct-15 12:26:00.0000_1 is 21946.295,-159121.23,34466.188 km relative to 3
    UF56 A.D. 2014-Oct-15 12:26:00.0000_1 is -11.929787,-1.7684848,-0.54396474 km/s relative to 3
    UF56 A.D. 2014-Oct-15 12:26:00.0000_1 b[14], 1.0, 100.0, 2456958.390002072, date, 1.2339916776399004E8, 8.317479417656149E7, 11494.561750010294, -29.15149270774566, 22.773955394720904, -0.5453916060845403,

    October 27, 2014 at 12:39 pm

  10. Scute


    Thanks for linking the Rosetta blog post.

    I realised I mixed up my acute/obtuse angles when I said (at Tallbloke’s) that the phase angle was about 60 degrees. It was about 120 degrees. I subtracted 30 deg from 90 deg instead of adding it. It doesn’t change the sunward position I gave you, just the angle interpreted from that position. In fact, looking at Frank’s diagram of closest approach on his 2014 RC post, it fits exactly with what I gave you. It should do of course because we both use the JPL Horizons emphemeris . He feeds it to the orbital simulation programme and I sit and read the tables.

    It occured to me that something interesting must have happened in the 8-10 hours before closest approach. If I eyeball your diagram alongside Frank’s I can see that UF56 was flying right along the edge of the magnetosphere, almost exactly parallel to its edge. It would’ve been either just inside or just outside.

    It may not look as if that’s the case at first glance but Frank’s diagram is actually rotated about 34 degrees anticlockwise from yours because closest approach was ~34.75 days after autumn equinox. Your diagram shows the sun directly to the left as if the Earth is at Equinox on the 23rd Sept. That’s why Frank said the sun was off to the bottom left- so it it just above bottom left i.e. rotated 34 degrees from your magnetosphere picture.

    I think it would be really interesting therefore, if you were to rotate your magnetosphere picture 34 degrees anticlockwise and then superimpose it on Frank’s picture. Of course, you would have to resize it too so that the partial moon orbit of Frank’s fitted your moon orbit. I reckon the result will show the asteroid flying close and parallel to the magnetosphere wall. That must surely have had an effect on the electrical interactivity as opposed to crossing straight across, wouldn’t it? It might even have flown right along the narrow plasma mantle in your diagram, sending particles into the poles perhaps? If there was a report of a spectacular aurora display, it may be traceable back to the asteroid radiant if the display was centred on a particular Earth longitude line.

    One last point is that if you did do this superimposing excercise you’ll know if the asteroid was outside the magnetosphere/bow shock at closest approach. I can see that it was very close to the edge if it was inside. I therefore reckon that all the interesting electrical action would’ve been on the approach to closest approach and less action afterwards.

    October 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm

  11. Hi Scute,

    I will try to get that diagram done – it is a good idea. I can configure the general thought but not the exact trajectory.

    This was an ideal “dry run” for an asteroid flyby for many reasons. More data will be rolling in. The question of its skimming approach along the magnetosphere is really interesting. Every flyby is unique and this one was, as I said, ideal for many reasons! I am really glad to make your acquaintance, Scute, and thanks for dropping by. I have to wait a bit before I can add anything.

    October 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm

  12. Scute


    I found an aurora website and contacted the owner, Tony, who replied (see below). The unusual low-latitude sub storm he mentions is in the middle of Norway/Sweden. Notice that the three plot excursions he mentions are centred on 21:30 on the 27th October o2014, only 9 minutes after closest approach. There’s a sharp drop from 20:00 and a slower recovery until 3:00 on the 28th. The longitude of the unusual sub storm is at exactly 90 degrees to the direction of the asteroid at closest approach. I think this may be a signature. Email as follows:

    Here is a stackplot from various magnetometers in Europe for the night you mentioned:

    Before midnight http://flux.phys.uit.no/cgi-bin/mkstackplot.cgi?nor=Norwegian+line&comp=H&day=27&month=10&year=2014&site=tro2a
    After midnight: http://flux.phys.uit.no/cgi-bin/mkstackplot.cgi?nor=Norwegian+line&comp=H&day=28&month=10&year=2014&site=tro2a

    Nothing looks too out of the ordinary to me, however that is a huge geomagnetic sub storm in jck, don and rvk which seems quite localised. Not too often we see geomagnetic sub storms that big in middle Scandinavia whilst northern latitudes are registering low-to-moderate activity. In fact that is one of the biggest sub storms I’ve seen in recent times at those latitudes.

    November 1, 2014 at 2:02 am

  13. Scute


    This NASA site, linked below, may be of interest when updated for October (currently goes to Sept). Although it records meteor hits via their flashes it may have flashed faintly due to electromagnetic interactions with the asteroid, especially on the dark side limb. You never know- Apollo astronauts saw a glow on the horizon just before sunrise, thought to be charged dust particles being lifted from the surface. Because they were looking through the densest portion (like observing the smog over a city from a distance), they could see the effect more easily. However, instead of attenuation of light as with smog, I believe it was reflection of sunlight from the dust between sun and observer. The orbiter, LADEE, investigated this phenomenon in 2013 and did find dust at low altitudes. If there was a flash on the 27th or perhaps a glow on the dark limb it could be the charged dust particles glowing for another reason- ionisation as with auroras. Link here:


    Also of interest is that the moon was almost in line with 2014 UF56 and the Earth at close approach and exactly in line a short time afterwards (looking down on the ecliptic, xy plane). See Frank’s picture. It was also at a similar declination angle to UF56 so it wasn’t in line only when looking down on the ecliptic. The moon was a waxing crescent on the 27th so it was a bit more than half dark. This in-line behaviour means that if there was interaction with the moon, it might have been more like an Earth-moon interaction, made possible only through the interposing of the asteroid between them and moving at right angles. If such a three-body interaction did take place, one might even expect the same evolution of the ‘moon storm’ between 20:00 UTC on the 27th and 3:00 UTC next day as there was in the Scandinavia storm.

    Tony’s aurora website, from which you can navigate to all the other interesting observatory websites and magnetometer plots, is here:



    November 1, 2014 at 6:35 am

  14. Scute, you are back.

    1. The flyby effects on the moon are a gap. In the future we need a resource or three. Levitating dust is frequent so we can’t do anything with that. An amateur astronomer may have seen something for the time you said in your comment above. I thought if any one would see something during the event it would be a tallbloke’s talkshop reader, but no one said anything. The moon may not be responsive because it lacks a magnetic field. It still may surprise. After all, it has a lot of moonquakes so not all is known.

    2. I have been looking for a fireball or meteorite in the news. Remember we thought that there would be a possible break up, either of loosely multiple asteroids, or an explosion of the asteroid. This was far enough away that the broken asteroid bits would not necessarily hit earth in the same way the Russian Valentine’s Day meteor did. I found no reports in the news. I found one comment that may be a lead – assuming the break up would have been far brighter than expected and possibly visible. Also, the Orionid showers are in progress right now, which makes an event difficult to separate from noise.

    I have some other evidence that a piece of the UF56 may have reached earth on the 29th 1AM UT.

    3. Geomagnetic disturbances do well. Thank you for your stacked graphs also. This was a match if you use space craft geomagnetic storm readings.

    4. Auroras were also good; but there are alternate explanations for these. Back to a nice quiet sun.

    5. Meteor size was not adjusted at any time. It just vanished from the news. It is interesting to note that the size of Siding Spring was re-estimated to be half the size originally thought. Eyeballing something that is electrically active will be subject to changes. I think that estimated sizes should continue be taken with a huge grain of salt; all flybys are important regardless of previous estimates in meters.

    Thanks for dropping by again. It takes months sometimes for the full story to unfold.

    PS, sorry your comments go into moderation. I used to only have to approve once.

    November 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm

  15. Moon Seismology: Wikipedia

    Several seismographic measuring systems have already been installed on the moon and their data made available to scientists (such as the those from the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package). The existence of moonquakes was an unexpected discovery from seismometers placed on the Moon by Apollo astronauts from 1969 through 1972. The instruments placed by the Apollo 12, 14, 15 and 16 missions were functional until they were switched off in 1977.[1] Moonquakes are not believed to be caused by tectonic plate movement (as earthquakes are), but by tidal forces between Earth and the moon.[2] Further data hopes to clarify the origins and effects of the forces causing moonquakes.
    Future plans[edit]
    Scientists worldwide (including researchers at Arizona State University, an institution responsible for aspects of several earth-orbit and extraplanetary exploratory missions) are proposing new seismographic experiments to be conducted on the moon. Scientists and engineers are working to design the next experiments, which are likely to be seismic arrays. Seismic sensors were installed on the moon during the Apollo missions (from which data exists); however, they are not seismic arrays. The advantage of a seismic array over a seismic sensor is that by comparing data from all the sensors in the array, a great deal of information may be gleaned mathematically about the location and intensity of each tremor. Seismic arrays are currently installed around Earth, and data has been available to scientists for some time. Having two to five years of array data from the Moon is expected to provide helpful comparative data which will advance scientific knowledge of Earth, the moon and the evolution of the universe.”

    So this is in the future. This would be something to watch if we had it.

    November 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm

  16. There have been a series of geomagnetic disturbances on Nov 4th and 5th. There are also plenty of flares from sunspot AR2205 –

    – but this was not directed toward earth at the time. Today’s X-class flare also released a CME.

    This is included as a backdrop for the flyby of UF56.

    So for comparison, the Valentine’s Day 2013 asteroid coincided with
    1. a flatline sun
    2. a geomagnetic disturbance and auroras
    3. a fireball of extraordinary energy in the general path of the asteroid experienced by populations in Russia

    And UF56 coincided with
    1. a huge active, flaring sunspot, but no CMEs
    2. a geomagnetic storm and auroras
    3. no fireball stands out; was it far enough away at .44 LD that an earthbound fireball from UF56 may have also disturbed earth’s geomagnetic field a second time?

    November 7, 2014 at 1:28 pm

  17. ref: http://www.artinaid.com/2013/03/moon/

    November 10, 2014 at 10:02 am

  18. Asteroid explosion over Indonesia raises fears about Earth’s defenses
    By Tom Chivers10:23AM GMT 27 Oct 2009


    An asteroid that exploded in the Earth’s atmosphere with the energy of three Hiroshima bombs this month has reignited fears about our planet’s defenses against space impacts.

    On 8 October, the rock crashed into the atmosphere above South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The blast was heard by monitoring stations 10,000 miles away, according to a report by scientists at the University of Western Ontario.

    Scientists are concerned that it was not spotted by any telescopes, and that had it been larger it could have caused a disaster.

    The asteroid, estimated to have been around 10 metres (30ft) across, hit the atmosphere at an estimated 45,000mph. The sudden deceleration caused it to heat up rapidly and explode with the force of 50,000 tons of TNT.
    Luckily, due to the height of the explosion – estimated at between 15 and 20 km (nine to 12 miles) above sea level – no damage was caused on the ground.
    However, if the object had been slightly larger – 20 to 30 metres (60 to 90ft) across – it could easily have caused extensive damage and loss of life, say researchers.

    Very few objects smaller than 100 meters (300ft) across have been spotted and catalogued by astronomers.
    Tim Spahr, director of the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, warned that it was inevitable that minor asteroids would go unnoticed. He said: “If you want to find the smallest objects you have to build more, larger telescopes.
    “A survey that finds all of the 20-metre objects will cost probably multiple billions of dollars.”

    The fireball was spotted by locals in Indonesia, and a YouTube video taken that day “appears to show a large dust cloud consistent with a bright, daylight fireball”, according to the Ontario researchers.

    An asteroid or comet fragment around 60 meters across is believed to have been behind the Tunguska Event, a powerful explosion that took place over Russia in 1908. The blast has been estimated at equivalent to 10-15 million tons of TNT – enough to destroy a large city.
    The White House is to develop a policy on the space object impact threat by October next year.


    November 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm

  19. This has been up for a couple of days at spaceweather.

    MARTIAN METEOR SHOWER: On Friday, NASA held a press conference to discuss what happened when Comet Siding Springs buzzed Mars on Oct. 19, 2014. An international fleet of Mars orbiters observed the encounter using a variety of cameras, radars, and other sensors. Among many findings, the highlight was a “spectacular meteor shower” detected by NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft. MAVEN did not actually see streaks of light in the Martian atmosphere–the spacecraft was sheltering behind the body of Mars during the comet’s flyby. But when MAVEN emerged, it found a glowing layer of Mg+ (a constituent of meteor smoke) floating 150 km above the planet’s surface:

    The “smoke” was made of ionized magnesium and other metals shed by the disintegrating meteoroids. The data are consistent with “a few tons of comet dust being deposited in the atmosphere of Mars,” says Nick Schneider, the instrument lead for MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph at University of Colorado, Boulder. “A human on the surface of Mars might have seen thousands of shooting stars per hour, possibly a meteor storm.” He further speculated that the meteor shower would have produced a yellow afterglow in the skies of Mars because the meteor smoke was rich in sodium ions.

    Jim Green, the director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division in Washington DC says there was a lot more comet dust hitting Mars than researchers expected, pre-flyby. Radars onboard the ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft and NASA’s Mars Reconnassance Orbiter also detected signs of meteor-related ions. MAVEN and the other spacecraft are continuing to collect data as the atmosphere of Mars recovers from the encounter.

    November 10, 2014 at 5:59 pm

  20. WX202


    This came in at .9 LD, from the side at a full moon. There have been auroral storms and a geomagnetic storm. It was only about 4 meters according to reports.

    2014 WX202 – inbound intruder
    Approximate diameter 4 meters (H=29.629)
    Closest Earth approach 0.98 LD at 2008 UT on 7 Dec. 2014 – Note: JPL reports an approach uncertainty of +/- 3 minutes
    Inside Earth-Moon system 0257 on 7 Dec. until 1316 UT on 8 Dec. 2014
    Inside Earth SOI 29 Nov. until 15 Dec. 2014
    Inside ten LD of Earth 30 Oct. until 18 Jan. 2015
    Closest Moon approach 0.58 LD at 0541 UT on 4 Dec. 2014
    Inside one LD of Moon 1654 on 2 Dec. until 2106 UT on 5 Dec. 2014
    Data based on JPL SSD orbit solution #5 downloaded from JPL on 3 Dec. 2014 UTC
    based on 37 observations spanning 8 days including radar
    Optical observation
    reported from 6 observing codes during 7.7674 days: 291, G58, G96, H21, H36, J95
    designation assigned to Mt. Lemmon Survey observation at 0925 UT 24 Nov. 2014
    last observed at 0350 UT on 2 Dec. 2014 by the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope

    There is usually a prediction or announcement that the earth is crossing a “fast solar wind stream” at the same time there is a near earth object, even when the sun has been quiet.

    Other nations are beginning to realize that the asteroids are wild cards, and that data from the US about their behavior and effects on the geomagnetic field is bad. They can also appear without having been previously detected, and an asteroid greater than 2 km has yet to have been detected or to brush by within an LD, as far as I can see from SC24.

    Also, gamma ray flares from the sun are a wild card as well. I have found two, one on March 7th 2012, and probably one on Feb 25th 2014, and both generated huge magnetic field disturbances immediately.

    Later added: Possible gamma flare March 9, 2011. Delayed gm effect.

    December 7, 2014 at 10:51 am

  21. On February 20, 2015 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.

    Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
    Miss Distance
    2015 DD1
    Feb 17
    0.1 LD
    4 m
    2015 CQ13
    Feb 18
    6.7 LD
    31 m
    2015 DB
    Feb 18
    1.3 LD
    12 m
    2015 DU
    Feb 23
    8 LD
    21 m
    2015 CA40
    Feb 23
    6.3 LD
    50 m
    2000 EE14
    Feb 27
    72.5 LD
    1.6 km
    2063 Bacchus
    Apr 7
    76 LD
    1.6 km

    February 20, 2015 at 6:52 pm

  22. This belongs here. Reading tallbloke’s today.

    “Cruithne is approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) in diameter, and its closest approach to Earth is approximately thirty times the separation between Earth and the Moon [12 gigametres (Gm) or 12,000,000 kilometres (7,500,000 mi)]. From 1994 through 2015, Cruithne makes its annual closest approach to Earth every November.[9]”

    “Similar minor planets

    More resonant near-Earth objects (NEOs) have since been discovered. These include 54509 YORP, (85770) 1998 UP1, 2002 AA29, and 2009 BD which exist in resonant orbits similar to Cruithne’s. 2010 TK7 is the first and so far only identified Earth trojan.
    Other examples of natural bodies known to be in horseshoe orbits include Janus and Epimetheus, natural satellites of Saturn. The orbits these two moons follow around Saturn are much simpler than the one Cruithne follows, but operate along the same general principles.
    Mars has four known co-orbital asteroids (5261 Eureka, 1999 UJ7, 1998 VF31, and 2007 NS2, all at the Lagrangian points), and Jupiter has many (an estimated one million greater than 1 km in diameter, the Jovian trojans); there are also other small co-orbital moons in the Saturnian system: Telesto and Calypso with Tethys, and Helene and Polydeuces with Dione. However, none of these follow horseshoe orbits.”

    February 28, 2015 at 11:19 am

  23. Zeke

    Any thoughts or info on 2015DY198? It passed at 11:23 UTC today, 1st March 2015 at 2.17 LD.

    Meanwhile the American Meteor Society has a number of pending reports from the western states, all at or around the 8PM to 10PM hour line. I can’t tell yet what the trajectory is/are from the witness reports because they’re not crunched and triangulated yet. However, they give the general impression of being consistent with DY198: East to west with a possible North-South component is what DY198’s fragments would produce at that hour line and latitude.

    That part of the Earth was also pretty well looking straight out at the geocentric orbit line of the asteroid, 5 hours before it passed (except it was swinging lower but in that direction).

    March 1, 2015 at 10:39 am

    • BTW, DY198 is admittedly passing a bit further away than our usual quarry and it is early days as far as the AMS reports are concerned. However, I don’t link any meteor to any close approacher. I checked all those you posted recently against known meteors and none fitted for their trajectory being a fragment in the same orbit. The only reason I cite DY198 is because these sightings sort of look right. We’ll see in due course if and when AMS post up a trajectory for this/these meteors.

      March 1, 2015 at 11:00 am

      • Scute says, “I don’t link any meteor to any close approacher. I checked all those you posted recently against known meteors and none fitted for their trajectory being a fragment in the same orbit.”

        The use of trajectories is an excellent tool for matching meteors, fireballs, and near earth asteroids. I would like to ask two questions.

        1. Have you considered that the bust-up of the parent asteroid may affect the trajectory to earth? If it was explosive – as opposed to a more gentle gravitational effect – would this cause the discrepancies you see?

        2. Upon entry to the upper atmosphere, some asteroids are deflected. If there is deflection, could there be re-direction?

        I ask for your best estimate.

        And just for fun, here is one of the rascals, found in California:

        March 1, 2015 at 11:54 am

  24. Scute,

    Referring to
    2015 DY198 Mar 1 2.2 LD 21 m
    2015 DS53 Mar 2 3.1 LD 63 m

    Once again we have a very quiet sun and a considerable gm storm. Spaceweather had predicted that this is the the result of the impact of a fast solar wind stream. An alternative possibility is that an NEO has brushed the earth’s gm field, and in the process, broken up. This would result in increased auroras, gm disturbances, and possible fireballs – as we now see.

    My answer to your question is that the two asteroids listed above, including 2015 DY198, may not be alone. The closest one of the group may not be listed on the spaceweather site.

    I hope you will continue your work on the trajectories. The missing component in the danger of NEOs is that they are rocky bodies, they do possess gm fields themselves, and they are electrically active. That is why such small bodies have a global effect. This is also a scientific hot potato. Let me know if you would like to work on a statement and supporting records. I am willing to commit the hours to something thorough.

    March 1, 2015 at 11:30 am

  25. Zeke

    (Long comment)

    In answer to your first question, the discrepancies I saw were vast, between 50 and 180 degrees off the expected azimuth for a fragment of the suspected asteroids. I presume that an explosive event wouldn’t eject a metre-diameter fragment at more than say 6 metres per second. If the geocentric radiant velocity is a typically slow-to-medium 6km/sec, this would give only a 0.5° deflection if at 90° to the prograde velocity vector. It is for this reason that I think a deflection on any given close pass will not result in a hit on that same pass (unless the original trajectory was going to pass 100-200 km above the atmosphere because 200km is 9.25 hours @ 6 metres per second and 9.25 hours is 200,000km, in the order of the magnetic field radius (yes?).

    However, I believe that small asteroids can be abraded by encountering meteor streams known to exist between the Earth and Mars. Once a fragment has been liberated and is following essentially the same orbit a few km behind, a close approach to the Earth and sometimes Venus and Mars will change the velocity enough to alter, differentially, the inclination and/or eccentricity of the parent asteroid and the fragment. This in turn means that after a year or two the asteroid and its fragment are still in virtually the same orbit (300-900 million km diameter) but pass the Earth’s orbit 300-900 thousand miles apart. That seems a lot but the orbit diameters are off by only 1/1000. Notice I say diameters and not semimajor axis because the semimajor axis could be the same (and so would therefore the period hence they stay within hours of each other) but the 3-900 thousand km discerepancy due to eccentricty changes would cause the ‘diameter’ discrepancy along the orbits- ie one orbit would be slightly fatter than the other even though they had the same orbital period. Their trajectories past the Earth would be virtually identical but parallel and thousands of km apart. This is one way in which I believe asteroids could arrive in the vicinity of the Earth accompanied by fragments which can enter as meteors, looking like parallel ‘clones’ of the parent and yet be up to a million km apart. They may well be more than a million km apart but it becomes harder to prove. Frank and I tend to imagine all clones passing through a tube about 300,000 km wide, centred on the parent’s orbit line. The Earth may go through the middle of the tube (if the parent’s orbit is known to cross the Earth’s at a very close distance (small MOID) or it might skim the edge of the tube. The closer it gets to the centre, the higher the chance for a fragment hit- in theory at least. This was why I said DY198 was a bit outside our normal range. Although I’m happy to entertain fragments riding parallel at 1-million km it’s easier to look for fragments that may belong to parents that are passing within the smaller tube radius (150,000km) and preferably sub 50,000km. Frank and my two very close matches were both sub 50,000 km passes of the parent with the meteor (fragment) within 15 hours of the close approach.

    Another way of getting a fragment companion is by what you might call saturation. This would require the initial break up (from flying through a meteor stream or possibly a larger collision) to produce hundreds or even hundreds of thousands of fragments all in subtly different eccentricities and periods. This would then be a new meteor stream. These fragments gradually move ahead and behind the parent due to subtley different periods until after a century or two there are up to a hundred thousand fragments spread right around what is essentially the same orbit (but again, up to a million or so km fatter or thinner). A recent paper cited this as perfectly possible which was heartening for me and Frank. This means that whenever the parent passes the Earth a fragment or two will be just ahead or behind, just by the law of averages. In fact, even when a parent doesn’t pass nearby we may pass through its meteor stream. But because we have only very recently been able to estimate the orbital parameters of meteors from their atmospheric trajectory, we haven’t yet linked any to known meteors. And in fact, these estimations are still very crude.

    As for deflections within the atmosphere, I believe this barely happens at all with 1-metre plus sizes and probably not much with smaller sizes. The energies are so huge that it’s difficult to comprehend how resilient they are to slowing down let alone being deflected sideways. It’s mostly due to mass to surface area ratio which translates to mass to kinetic energy ratio. A big rock like Chelyabinsk has so much KE energy that the air resistance (dynamic pressure) is way too small to slow it. Chelyabinsk lost 90Kt of its 440 Kt energy from slowing down and compression by air resistance before releasing that pent up energy in the main explosion. So you may think that’s about a fifth of the KE so it slowed by a fifth. But due to KE being proportional to the square of the velocity, it only slowed by 1/25th from 19.15 km/sec to 18.4 km/sec. So after 12 secs of travel at 19km/sec, glowing like mad, it only lost a tiny bit of speed. When it exploded, one fragment was deflected sideways at a seemingly huge 400m/sec but because the forward velocity was still near to 18km/sec the deflection was only a degree or two. So deflection in the atmosphere is a small player I think. There is some scope for fast grazers to ‘bounce’ off the atmosphere like the Apollo reentry capsule did in a much more obvious and controlled way, but I think it’s slight and in fact what is happening is that the meteor is just grinding its way in a straight (ish) line through the upper reaches of the curved atmosphere on a hyperbolic trajectory, almost as if there’s no atmosphere there to stop it. These are very rare anyway because the chances of grazing the Earth just right for 40-50 secs before exiting again is very remote. But the 1972 daylight fireball (on Wikipedia) did just that. Chelyabinsk would have done so too if it had been angled 17 degrees flatter. It would’ve lost only about 3 km/sec in a 50 sec skim. It would have had to lose 11km/sec to get to a sub orbital 8km/sec and drop to Earth.

    You mention working on a statement with supporting records. However there are several reasons why this won’t really work for me. As you can see from the above, I don’t think it’s possible to get breakup, deflection and a meteor hit all in one pass. All my experience is related to subtle changes over years, even centuries and millenia. Also, my knowledge of electrical/solar wind phenomena is next to zero There are some electrical adherents on the ESA Rosetta, (67P) blog. They get quite a pasting sometimes but I have to say that some of their basic observations do chime: it looks more like rock than ice and there is activity coming from shaded areas which is a little strange.

    Thirdly, although I can see all this orbital stuff intuitively I have no programme and so I can’t just say I’ve got a feeling I’m right. It has to be verified. The flip side to this is that I’m forced to visualise it and so get better at scanning the ephemerides for the gems without having to put them through a programme.

    Also, all my spare time is taken up with my own 67P blog that you kindly linked above. I’m now writing Part 17, Part 16 just published. It’s now the length of a short novel.

    However, I still think I can help you in some way. For example, there’s a way of refining one’s understanding of close approachers and their suspected fragments without relying on the actual JPL close approach distances and dates. In fact, regarding the possible fragments, the close approach is actually a fuzzy approximation for where you should be looking. The time, distance and direction/radiant of the best candidate fragment trajectories can be very different when you use the MOID data of the asteroid. I shall explain that in another comment in the next few days.

    So although I’m not so sure I can help with a statement, I can help with the asteroid/ fragment trajectory hunt. And you are welcome to post some links on the electrical activity interaction you are talking about for me to read up on. But I’d probably take a back seat while helping where I can.

    March 1, 2015 at 4:24 pm

  26. Scute,
    I am more than happy with the detailed explanation of your model for asteroid encounters and orbits. And the calcs are excellent too. I certainly don’t need to give you any reading on this, except that there are statements by NASA which say that asteroids break up at unexpected times, just as comets do. (: And there is some evidence that asteroids often travel in loosely gravitationally bound systems. I will try to get the link, but I think it was from AstroBob’s blog.

    I would like just to have a place for a data dump and work out the actual events, each according to his model, afterward. I may get started if I can get a week off here. Congrats on your 67P book. Always terrific to be informed by you, Scute.

    Did you see this? One more 20m traveller has been discovered today.
    2015 DY198 Mar 1 2.2 LD 21 m
    2015 DO215 Mar 2 3.1 LD 20 m
    2015 DS53 Mar 2 3.1 LD 63 m

    March 1, 2015 at 11:30 pm

  27. http://cgi.minorplanetcenter.net/cgi-bin/confirmeph2.cgi


    Provisional ephemeris of NEO discovered a few hours ago and passing 1/3 LD in around 12 hrs time (00:00 UTC, March 12th). Difficult to see radiant without distances and hindcasted ephemeris, which will come soon I would guess. Anyway, it looks to me as though the Earth passes over its orbit about an hour later at around 01:00 UTC and any fragments will be approaching from the dark side of the Earth on the midnight hour line. If they hit they will be coming from a deep space radiant that’s pretty well along the ecliptic or just above it. If they miss they ultimately will have come from that same direction (midnight line=11H 20 Min geocentric RA) but pass under or over (or to the side). Most likely under because that’s the asteroid path. This is all provisional but thought I’d let you know because we could start seeing disturbance from 12-hr advanced fragments as of now.

    March 11, 2015 at 6:00 am

  28. Scute,
    Wow, that is close. I cannot follow the link, but will take your word for it. There is no mention of this on spaceweather. There is no mention of it here either:


    This may be posted tomorrow or the next day so I will keep a close eye for it. Many thanks for the update.

    Did you see the X-class flare today?

    There were immediate radio disruptions. Kp index is low low low.

    PS. Have you noticed how much sdo blinks off lately? It stops updating for over an hour at a time almost every day.

    March 11, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    • Zeke
      My source was this tweet:

      The other link showed the as yet unlisted asteroid along with its very recent (2-hour old) observations. When they come up on the list they usually have an observation arc of a day or more so perhaps it will come up tomorrow afternoon (UTC time). However, the provisional obs seemed all over the place. I don’t know how Asteroid Initiatives (the tweeter) knew it was 1/3 LD. I think I’ll wait till it’s up with a proper ephemeris before trying to pin down its path. Although by then it will have passed.

      Sorry, I don’t follow the SDO but I did catch news of the flare in another tweet and thought ‘oh great, it’s going to swamp any possible asteroid data. Mind you, the asteroid is definitely coming from the night side so that might help a bit. The issue was to do with its declination.

      Meanwhile, there was a possible Earth grazing fireball in Colarado. It’s on the AMS website. I thought it was a perfect match for the meteor until I saw that it was 6AM and not 6PM. That meant it was almost 180° in the opposite direction to the required match!

      Anyway, let’s see what comes up tomorrow.

      March 11, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      • Or maybe it was in ColOrado :)

        March 11, 2015 at 7:46 pm

  29. It made me laugh thinking of a British person trying to pronounce Colorado. (: People there say ColoREDo. Some of our states have gotten so weird we need to rename them. My daughter suggests calling Oregon “Argon,” which would make them Argonians – after a lizard race in one of her games.

    Good let’s see about the asteroid because they very frequently announce them afterwards. You never get the full picture on the day things occur.

    Now I will test to see if this beautiful sdo AIA 211 will embed:

    March 11, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    • Thanks Zeke

      I saw the vid. I also saw a Vine vid on twitter from a different angle so it must’ve been SOHO.

      As for the asteroid it must be the one on March 8th. My Twitter source had the close approach on the 12th instead. There may be two very close ones within a few days but there wouldn’t be two at 0.3 LD. The ephemerides weren’t available earlier so I couldn’t check it against that fireball. I know I said it was the opposite direction but all the data seemed wrong and might have something to do with the fact that even the official ones are late. And it’s probably why the tweeter was doing a call out for more obs.

      March 13, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      • Well something just happened!

        We just had a 3-day gm storm, and we are still clanging along.

        March 21, 2015 at 8:39 am

  30. Zeke

    Sorry, I meant on the 10th, close approach at 16:44 UTC. It’s 2015ET as shown in the list here if not refreshed by the time you click on it:


    Here’s its orbital parameters


    If you click on ‘ephemeris’, check it’s geocentric and time span is
    6th March to 16th March in 1hr time steps, you can see it pass almost directly from the sun direction to the dark side and pass directly over the Earth at 0.3 LD at 17:00 on the 10th. It may not look quite that way without having a glance at a globe near Equinox and getting the conversion to the ecliptic plane in your mind.

    Goodness knows what that other provisional one was doing because it was coming the other way and underneath us.

    So, guess what? This is exactly consistent with the Colorado fireball in atmospheric azimuth and altitude (which was flat, grazing the Earth tangentially). It’s 19 hours off (12:00 UTC on the 10th) is which might seem like a lot but it’s still within the the 1 million km version of the ‘tube’ at 852,000 km (19.25 hrs x 3600 x 12.3km/sec radiant velocity)

    Here’s the meteor’s page on AMS.


    So, was there any activity detected around 12:00 UTC on the 10th whether over the U.S. or elsewhere?

    March 13, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    • Scute, I had no idea this comment was in my queue! Thanks for this excellent bit of history. I am pleased to have it archived here.

      Again, sorry for the delay.

      June 22, 2015 at 11:12 am

      • Zeke

        That’s OK, it’s a WordPress thing I think because I only got notification of my own comment today so I presume that happened to you as well.

        I always meant to come back and clear up the confusion over WEBF312 and 2015ET discussed above. If you recall, WEBF312 was the provisional name given to a close approacher which would then get its proper name when they firmed up its orbit and put it on the official list. But it sat in provisional status for days which was unusual. Then 2015ET was posted up. It had the exact same CA distance (0.3 LD) as WEBF312 so I thought it had to be it. However it was crossing our path from the opposite direction. I queried that in another comment and gave up, thinking either I had been wrong on my initial reading of the WEBF312 ephmerides or that they were so provisional that they had been mistakenly reversed.

        That was how I left it. However, a few days later another asteroid (2015EG7 if I recall correctly) came up on the official list with another 0.3LD close approach distance and all the correct credentials to fit WEBF312!

        So there you have it. It was a combination of two very unlikely factors: 1) same close approach distance of 0.3 LD, which is highly unusual both in similarity and closeness and 2) the fact that WEBF312 was in limbo for around two weeks before being made official. Those two things made me think it must be 2015ET when it came out. It wasn’t.

        No known meteors were associated with the new one anyway but 2015ET did seem to be on a very similar orbit/atmospheric trajectory to the Colorado Earth-grazing fireball seen on March 11th (actually over Wyoming but mostly viewed from Denver).

        I’m currently looking at the Perth Daytime Fireball and seeing if there’s a link to 2010FR. Much more tenuous one, this, but if you have any records of strange activity on March 11th 2015 at 1:26 UTC or thereabouts do let me know! The approach was from the sunward side of the Earth and from below the ecliptic.

        Cheers, Scute

        June 22, 2015 at 2:59 pm

  31. A radio telescope array is being used to observe a lowly asteroid.

    Asteroid Juno Seen Traveling Through Space in New ALMA Images and Animation

    Juno, one of the largest members of the main asteroid belt, as seen with ALMA. Credit: ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ) | Download Image

    “Juno will make its next close approach to Earth in November 2018. Since the asteroid will be much closer than it was in the most recent observations, ALMA will be able to double its resolution, potentially revealing new details about this intriguing object. At approximately 240 kilometers across, Juno is among the largest members of the solar system’s main asteroid belt, but it is still only a few percent the mass of this region’s largest inhabitant: the dwarf planet Ceres, which is now playing host to NASA’s Dawn spacecraft.

    “This new observation clearly demonstrates that ALMA will be a very powerful tool for studying asteroids,” said NRAO astronomer Arielle Moullet. “At its highest resolution, ALMA is powerful enough to resolve the surface of many asteroids.” Earlier models of Juno developed by studying its reflected light indicate that it has an oblong, or potato-like, shape with possibly minor indentations on its surface. The ALMA images seem to support this model.

    Juno is one of five targets selected for study during the ALMA Long Baseline Campaign to test the telescope’s high-resolution capabilities, achieved when the antennas are at their greatest separation: up to 15 kilometers apart. The other targets include the protoplanetary disk HL Tau, the gravitationally lensed galaxy SDP.81, the star Mira, and quasar 3C138.”

    April 18, 2015 at 5:37 pm

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