8 March 2016 Close Approach of 2013 TX68

Small pieces of rock, with a big influence (just ask the dinosaurs).
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Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

8 March 2016 Close Approach of 2013 TX68

Post by Christopher K. » February 3rd, 2016, 5:12 pm

The Near Earth Object Program has issued a special statement about this object. It will swing its closest to Earth on Saturday 5 March; I will mention the uncertainty margin later. Although fairly close, the object will be way beyond the unaided-eye range even for those in dark skies.

More information:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4888

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: 8 March 2016 Close Approach of 2013 TX68

Post by Christopher K. » February 29th, 2016, 3:55 pm

As can be seen, I altered the title of the initial post to reflect updated information. The prediction now states Tuesday 8 March is the close pass date. The estimated pass distance is now about five million kilometers. Although this object is fifty percent larger than that of the infamous Chelyabinsk event, there is no chance of impact Tuesday.

2013 TX68's Orbit Diagram: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2013%20TX68;orb=1
2013 TX68's Minor Planet Electronic Circular: http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K13/K13T64.html

I may have been mistaken about this object's alleged dimness. On the 8th, when the last of twilight is gone (about 7:30pm CST), 2013 TX68 will be fifty-six degrees up in the east, in the constellation Cancer. In fact, the asteroid will be about three-and-a-half degrees from the Beehive Cluster! The Starry Night Pro Plus is estimating the magnitude at 17.5.

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