Skip Navigation: Avoid going through Home page links and jump straight to content
spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer
NASA Logo    + View the NASA Portal  
Near Earth Object Program
spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer
NEO Basics Search Programs Discovery Statistics Accessible NEAs News Frequently Asked Questions
spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer
Orbit Diagrams Orbit Elements Close Approaches Impact Risk Images Related LInks
spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer

Near-Earth Asteroid 2007 TU24 to Pass Close to Earth on Jan. 29 - Should be Observable with Modest Sized Telescopes

Don Yeomans
NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office
January 22, 2008

Asteroid 2007 TU24, discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on October 11, 2007 will closely approach the Earth to within 1.4 lunar distances (334,000 miles) on 2008 Jan. 29 08:33 UT. This object, between 150 and 600 meters in diameter, will reach an approximate apparent magnitude 10.3 on Jan. 29-30 before quickly becoming fainter as it moves further from Earth. For a brief time the asteroid will be observable in dark and clear skies with amateur telescopes of 3 inch apertures or larger.

For an interactive illustration of this object's orbit see:

http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2007+TU24&orb=1

The illustration below is courtesy of amateur astronomer Dr. Dale Ireland from Silverdale, WA. The illustration shows the asteroid's track on the sky for 3 days near the time of the close Earth approach as seen from the city of Philadelphia. Since the object's parallax will be a significant fraction of a degree, observers are encouraged to use our on-line Horizons ephemeris generation service for their specific locations. These personalized ephemeris tables can be generated at: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi?find_body=1&body_group=sb&sstr=2007%20TU24

Illustration showing the asteroid's track on
 the sky for 3 days near the time of the close Earth approach as seen from
 the city of Philadelphia.
Track Animation for 2007 TU24 showing the motion of the asteroid at two-hour intervals, near the time of closest Earth approach
MPEG - 13.0 MB
WMV - 4.5 MB

Track Animation for 2007 TU24 showing the motion of the asteroid at two-hour intervals, near the time of closest Earth approach.

Given the estimated number of near-Earth asteroids of this size (about 7,000 discovered and undiscovered objects), an object of this size would be expected to pass this close to Earth, on average, about every 5 years or so. The average interval between actual Earth impacts for an object of this size would be about 37,000 years. For the January 29th encounter, near Earth asteroid 2007 TU24 has no chance of hitting, or affecting, Earth.

2007 TU24 will be the closest currently known approach by a potentially hazardous asteroid of this size or larger until 2027. Plans have been made for the Goldstone planetary radar to observe this object Jan 23-24 and for the Arecibo radar to observe it Jan 27-28 and then Feb 1-4. High resolution radar imaging is expected, which may permit later 3-D shape reconstruction.

Menu
FIRST GOV   NASA Home Page Site Manager: Don Yeomans
Webmaster: Ron Baalke
Last Updated:
Feedback Credits Privacy Mailing List NASA