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TOPIC: Asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36


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RE: Asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36
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Using the Herschel Space Telescope, astronomers are set to obtain the first-ever images of asteroid 1999 RQ36 in far infrared light, a wavelength that the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will not be able to see once it approaches the charcoal-black chunk of rock floating in space.
Peering through forest-fire smoke with the 61-inch telescope on Mt. Bigelow north of Tucson, Carl Hergenrother observed the asteroid known as 1999 RQ36 on its 2011 Earth-approaching orbit early last June.
The 580 meter diameter, blacker-than-coal asteroid is the destination asteroid for the U.S.' first asteroid-sample return mission, NASA's OSIRIS-REx.

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Astronomers Plan Last Look at Asteroid Before OSIRIS-REx Launch

Every six years, asteroid 1999 RQ 36 nears the Earth - by cosmic standards - and researchers are launching a global observation campaign to learn as much as possible in preparation for the OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S.-led mission to bring back a sample of pristine asteroid material.
Astronomers working on the U.S.' first asteroid-sample return mission - the NASA mission named OSIRIS-REx - have begun a months-long observing campaign that is the last chance to study their target asteroid from Earth before the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft launches in 2016.

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University of Tennessee Assistant Professor Joshua Emery says human space exploration is not over. Funded by NASA grant money, he and a team of international scientists have started research on an asteroid that is so far away right now they can barely see it through high-powered telescopes. But in 2016, they hope to send a robot there to collect surface samples.
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There was a key announcement this past week relevant to the human exploration of space beyond low-Earth orbit and the space station.

The selection of Osiris-Rex [2.5MB PDF] to launch in 2016.
This robotic mission of Nasa's will travel out to an asteroid called 1999 RQ36; its arrival is expected in 2020. After some remote-sensing of its target, Osiris-Rex will then attempt to pick up some grit and dust from the space rock before returning those samples to Earth for study in labs across the world.

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Google earth file: Asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36.kmz (18kb, kmz)

Ephemeris

Date    TT    R. A. (2000) Decl.     Delta      r     Elong.  Phase     V
2011 09 09    05 07 54.6 +19 05 42   0.1769  1.0172    88.2    81.8    20.0
2011 09 10    05 15 49.5 +19 51 23   0.1767  1.0140    87.2    82.8    20.1
2011 09 11    05 23 49.4 +20 35 50   0.1766  1.0108    86.2    83.7    20.1
2011 09 12    05 31 53.8 +21 18 53   0.1767  1.0076    85.3    84.6    20.1
2011 09 13    05 40 02.1 +22 00 25   0.1769  1.0045    84.3    85.6    20.1


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The 180 - 410 metre wide asteroid 1999 RQ36 will make a close pass (68.7 lunar distances, 0.1766 AU), travelling at 10.77 km/second, to the Earth-Moon system on the 11th September, 2011 @ 00:53 UT ±00:01.

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The Lunar Distance (LD), the distance between Earth and the Moon, equals 384,401 km, (or 0.00256 AU).



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101955 1999 RQ36
Earth Impact Risk Summary
Torino Scale (maximum) n/a
Palermo Scale (maximum) -1.52
Palermo Scale (cumulative) -1.12
Impact Probability (cumulative) 7.1e-04
Number of Potential Impacts 8
Vimpact 12.86 km/s
Vinfinity 6.36 km/s
H 20.7
Diameter 0.560 km
Mass 1.4e+11 kg
Energy 2.7e+03 MT
all above are mean values
weighted by impact probability
Analysis based on 9 radar delay, 4 Doppler, and
282 optical observations spanning 2448.8 days
(1999-Sep-11.4 to 2006-May-26.2)



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A dangerously large asteroid could hit the earth in 2182 - and it needs to be deflected by 2080 at the latest, according to a global research team.
Scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and European universities estimated and monitored potential impacts using two mathematical models.
They found that asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36 has a one-in-a-thousand chance of impacting the Earth, most probably in the year 2182. Knowing this may help deflect it.

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Un asteroide potencialmente peligroso podría impactar con la Tierra en 2182

El asteroide potencialmente peligroso '(101955) 1999 RQ36' tiene una probabilidad de uno entre mil de impactar contra la Tierra, y más de la mitad de esta probabilidad apunta a que podría ocurrir en el año 2182, según un estudio internacional en el que han participado investigadores españoles. Conocer este dato puede ayudar a diseñar con antelación mecanismos para desviar la trayectoria del asteroide.
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NASA considers sampling another asteroid

NASA says it is considering a project that would return a sample from asteroid 1999 RQ36 that might shed light on how the solar system was born.
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