Near-Earth objects and close calls


The Living Force
FOTCM Member

Discovery Statistics (near-earth objects coordination centre)

Last update: 2022-12-03 06:07 UTC Snip
This page summarises some statistical information on the NEA discovery rates. Thanks to the operation of wide-field high sensitivity automated sky surveys the number of known NEAs is rapidly growing. Data and plots presented here aim at providing a continuously updated snapshot of the situation.

The first three histograms give an overview of the discovery rate over different time spans; in particular, the distribution of discoveries over the year exhibits a clear seasonal effect.

The cumulative diagrams are obtained by dividing the population into subsamples corresponding to different size ranges. They show that most of the large NEAs (diameter > 1 km) have already been detected, and therefore smaller objects dominate the present discoveries.

The last plot summarises the magnitude (size) distribution of the known NEA population, showing that a large fraction remains undetected, the most challenging being the small-size and inner Earth objects.

Screenshot 2022-12-03 at 08-27-18 Discovery Statistics - NEO.png

The sound (sonic) trail left by this meteoric fireball is truly impressive. Is there really no image going to appear? (It is worth listening to this recording with headphones, volume up and on a good computer).
6) FROM LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA at around 3:35 p.m., the sonic boom was recorded by Roberto A. with a camera pointing in an easterly direction. The sound clearly exemplifies the intensity of the shock wave arriving in Gran Canaria.

Screenshot 2022-12-03 at 08-38-49 Red de Investigación Bólidos y Meteoritos (SPMN) on Twitter.png
4) BEWARE OF THE TERMINOLOGY: The media indicates that the phenomenon was produced by a "meteorite" but it was the shock wave produced by a meteoric fireball before producing it. Our experts @mar_tapia and @Josep_Trigo wrote this informative article:



The Living Force
FOTCM Member

A fun site, where you can chose the size, speed, angje of the asteroid and the impact, so you can see the damage.

Had choosen 200 m in diameter, and it leaves an 7 km diametre of damage - crater, taking out more that 100 thousands souls at impact at my city.

Popcorn is going to get burned 😂
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The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Screenshot 2022-12-08 at 21-53-01 Asteroid Day ☄ (@AsteroidDay) _ Twitter.png

This is an interesting scenario..🧐

NEW IMPACT DIDACTIC RESOURCE! Excellent initiative of
@nealagarwal using the models of the prestigious Jay Melosh and Gareth Collins. Choose material for your asteroid, diameter, speed and angle of impact: Throw it on a point on the globe!

Screenshot 2022-12-08 at 21-24-09 Red Investigación Bólidos y Meteoritos (SPMN)-CSIC on Twitter.png
1/ Discoveries in the coming decades? 1 ⃣ 9 ⃣ Determine if the Apophis asteroid will hit Earth
2. With its powerful resolution, our #ELT will study #asteroide #Apophis in more detail than ever before, and determine its orbit with greater precision. Thus, we can anticipate if it will enter a collision course with the Earth. Follow our #ESO60Years for more discoveries


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The Living Force
FOTCM Member
NEW IMPACT DIDACTIC RESOURCE! Excellent initiative of
@nealagarwal using the models of the prestigious Jay Melosh and Gareth Collins. Choose material for your asteroid, diameter, speed and angle of impact: Throw it on a point on the globe!
Oh man, instant tough decision about whether to target the Pentagon or Capitol Hill first. Ended up going with Capitol Hill, 50m gold asteroid with 100km/s impact speed and 90º angle.


unkl brws

Jedi Council Member
Oh man, instant tough decision about whether to target the Pentagon or Capitol Hill first. Ended up going with Capitol Hill, 50m gold asteroid with 100km/s impact speed and 90º angle.

View attachment 67974
I set aim at Langley, Virginia and went a bit bigger with a 2,000 foot diameter asteroid zipping along at a crisp 100,000 mph. Since this produced a 32 mile wide fireball (and a 21 mile wide crater) it would have leveled the Pentagon and Capitol Hill in short order. Three birds with one stone, so to speak. 💥🔥


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I set aim at Langley, Virginia and went a bit bigger with a 2,000 foot diameter asteroid zipping along at a crisp 100,000 mph. Since this produced a 32 mile wide fireball (and a 21 mile wide crater) it would have leveled the Pentagon and Capitol Hill in short order. Three birds with one stone, so to speak. 💥🔥
Damages from the fireball, pressure, wind, earthquake are quite ilustrative as well... Wind, reminded me of the Tunguska one.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Another year has passed. As it turns out, 2021 (again) beats the previous all-time records of 2020 in pretty much all departments. For this year, I've revised/recalculated and double-checked all the data, and I am currently in the process of extracting more information out of the data. This time around, I won't explain things in detail. You can read the description of the previous year here, for a rough reference on how to read the data and graphs that follow below. I'm still working on the new Database for 2021, and what you will see below is a selection out of that Database. I'll let you know when the Database is finished so that you can use it too and have a look at everything. As you will see, I've also redone all the graphs, trying to put as much information in it as possible, in order to explain the extent of what is going on and in the hopes of bringing what is going on across without the need for wordy explanations. Also, while redoing the database, a number of new ideas I haven't thought about came to mind. Thus, you will also see new graphs and charts. The database will likely also have a new folder in which new (quite interesting) data/graphs will be added. Again, we will zoom in from the father reaches of the solar system (farther away from earth) and finally we land on earth itself (fireballs). So here we go...

A NEO is defined as:

So, 1.3 au equals roughly the distance of = 194.5 million kilometers (121 million miles)

Notice that from 1900 to 1999 the data was counted in decades followed by year counts since the year 2000! Which means that the increase compared to the 1900 - 1999 year periods is actually much, much higher than is expressed in this graph!:

View attachment 54307

The same applies for the following two graphs, which are extracted from the above graph/data:

View attachment 54313

View attachment 54318
I’m taking a break from study this summer semester.

In light of recent developments I think it is time we make some thorough analysis of this data happen. And keep an up to date track of it.

I’m no expert in data analysis or regression modelling so a bit nervous to tackle it by myself. But I’m really keen to collaborate with others. I can plug the code into r and do the actual modelling but would be great to collaborate with the other experts here in modelling and ML etc.

What I suggest is we start a project page?


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
There appear to have been on Thursday, two events in Japan

On Thursday, December 8, surveillance cameras captured a large fireball off the coast of Ibaraki, Japan. This is reported by The Watchers.

The meteorite fell at a speed of 17.4 kilometers per second. The whole event lasted about five seconds and the space object burned in the sky.

A bright fireball just drifted by at 18:07:13 on December 8, 2022, as captured by a camera pointed northeast from my home in Hiratsuka, Japan. The full moon and clouds are on the right, and the star above is Capella. The fireball came from a near-Earth asteroid. #meteors #fireball. T.Deepl
This is a view of a bright meteor that fell at 4:17:21 on December 8, 2022, as captured by a wide-angle camera pointed north from Mt. Fuji, illuminated by the full moon. It was a scattered meteor. #meteors #fireball. T.Deepl


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
TWEET 01 On the night of December 14 to the morning of December 15, the Geminids meteor shower, which boasts the largest number of meteors of the year, will reach its peak. This is a view of the meteors on the night before last year's peak, December 12-13, 2021, as captured by Fuji (north x 2, east, south). The Gemini swarm is still active on the day before the peak. This year there is a bright moon and it is best to observe it without it in your field of view. T.Deepl
TWEET 02 After the Geminids meteor shower passes its peak, the number of meteors suddenly drops and becomes fewer. On the other hand, bright fireballs tend to be abundant after the peak and can be enjoyed even after the peak. This is a fireball of the Geminids meteor shower at 23:01:05 on December 14, 2021, after the peak last year. T.Deepl
TWEET 03 You never know when and where meteors will appear, so the trick is to look for them evenly across the sky where there are few buildings or lights. The radiant point of the Geminids meteor shower rises throughout the night and can be observed from dusk to dawn. The radiant point is high late at night, and the path is longer at dusk and dawn, when the radiant point is low. T.Deepl
TWEET 04 The parent body of the Gemini group is the asteroid Phaethon, an unusual object with a comet-like tail. This is a visualization of the Geminids meteor shower dust motion based on observations by NASA's CAMS network. The light blue is the Earth's orbit and the white dots are dust scattered from Phaethon. T.Deepl


FOTCM Member
Meteroid hit suspected after major leak reported on Soyuz space capsule. Article below.

Note that, if this is indeed what they suspect, this follows an incident in June whereby a micrometeoroid hit the recently launched James Webb Telescope: First micrometeoroid impact hits James Webb Space Telescope just months into flight

Meteoroid hit suspected after major leak from Soyuz space capsule

Samantha Lock
The Guardian
Thu, 15 Dec 2022 17:39 UTC

soyuz leak

Screenshot: Russia aborts International Space Station spacewalk mission after Nasa footage shows particles spraying from MS-22 capsule.
A major leak from a Russian capsule docked on the International Space Station was most likely caused when a small meteoroid smashed into a radiator, leading to coolant being sprayed into space, a Roscosmos official has said.

Sergei Krikalev, a former cosmonaut who is now director of crewed space flight programs at Russia's space corporation, said Thursday's leak from the Soyuz MS-22 could affect the capsule's overall coolant system but that there was "no threat for the crew" of the space station.

The leak had prompted a pair of cosmonauts to abort a planned spacewalk earlier in the day. It also raises concerns as to whether the capsule will be able to safely return to Earth next spring as planned with two cosmonauts and a Nasa astronaut, or if an emergency replacement vehicle will have to be sent up.

Micrometeoroids, naturally occurring pieces of rock or metal that can be as small as a grain of sand, pose a significant danger to human spaceflight. They hurl around the Earth at about 17,000mph (27,400km/h) - much faster than the speed of a bullet.

Human-made "space junk" can also damage equipment. Last year, Russia blew up one of its own satellites in a missile test that created clouds of zooming shrapnel.

Comment: Most countries that have made it into space are responsible for littering the area surrounding our planet with junk. It's unsurprising that The Guardian, an establishment propaganda outlet, only mentions Russia.

On Thursday, a "visible stream of flakes" prompted Russian flight controllers to abort the spacewalk, a Nasa livestream showed.

"Tonight's spacewalk has been cancelled because of an observed leak of what is believed to be a cooling substance from the Soyuz MS-22," Nasa commentator Rob Navias can be heard saying in a broadcast from Nasa's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

"We noticed a visible stream of flakes coming from the aft of the Soyuz near the instrumentation and propulsion module that was indicative of a leak," Navias added.

The mishap occurred just before two of the Roscosmos cosmonauts, crew commander Sergey Prokopyev and flight engineer Dimitri Petelin, suited up for a planned spacewalk to move a radiator from one module to another on the Russian segment of the ISS.

Earlier, an official for Russia's mission control operations near Moscow was heard telling the pair in a radio transmission that their spacewalk was being cancelled while engineers worked to determine the nature of the problem.

Nasa also said the ISS crew was not thought to be in any danger from the leak.

See also: Classified: Roscosmos knows "exactly what happened" to Soyuz spacecraft


FOTCM Member
NEW IMPACT DIDACTIC RESOURCE! Excellent initiative of
@nealagarwal using the models of the prestigious Jay Melosh and Gareth Collins. Choose material for your asteroid, diameter, speed and angle of impact: Throw it on a point on the globe!

Tried this as Ryan had done in a random mountainous area with the results being mostly wind related (it is also near ice glaciers so those effects are not calculated). These things are all darn scary, yet it is the swarms of air bursts (something like the Carolina Bays) that truly are beyond calculation.


8,996 mph peak wind speed

An estimated 230 people would die from the wind blast

Wind within 6.6 miles would be faster than storms on Jupiter

Homes within 11 miles would be completely leveled

Within 19 miles it would feel like being inside an EF5 tornado

Nearly all trees within 32 miles would be knocked down

6.3 magnitude earthquake

An estimated 1 people would die from the earthquake.

The earthquake would be felt 35 miles away
From :


Researchers from NASA and the University of Alaska are about to perform an unusual radar experiment. They're going to ping a near-Earth asteroid using shortwave radio. The target is a 500-ft-wide space rock named "2020 XC15." When it passes by Earth on Tuesday, Dec. 27th, the HAARP array in Alaska will hit it with a pulse of 9.6 MHz radio waves.​

The High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) site in Gakona, Alaska

Radio astronomers ping asteroids all the time. What's unusual about this experiment is the frequency: 9.6 MHz is hundreds of times lower than typical S-band and X-band frequencies used by other asteroid radars. The goal is to probe the asteroid's interior.​

Lead investigator Mark Haynes of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains: "The low frequencies we are using can penetrate the asteroid, unlike S-band or X-band frequencies which reflect mostly off of the surface. Ultimately the idea is to use echoes to form tomographic images of asteroid interiors."​

Knowing the internal structure of an asteroid could come in handy -- especially if you need to destroy it. 2020 XC15 poses no threat 770,000 km from Earth. Tomorrow's experiment is proof-of-concept for a scarier object: Asteroid Apophis, which will buzz Earth closer than many satellites in April 2029. If shortwave asteroid radar works for 2020 XC15, it should work for Apophis, too.​

HAARP will transmit a continually chirping signal to asteroid 2010 XC15 at slightly above and below 9.6 MHz. The chirp will repeat at two-second intervals. The University of New Mexico Long Wavelength Array near Socorro, NM, and the Owens Valley Radio Observatory Long Wavelength Array near Bishop, CA, will receive the reflected signal. Stay tuned for results.​

And an article describing this Asteroid Apophis (from here) :

"Apophis is named for the demon serpent who personified evil and chaos in ancient Egyptian mythology."

In Depth

Asteroid 99942 Apophis is a near-Earth object (NEO) estimated to be about 1,100 feet (340 meters) across.
When it was discovered in 2004, Apophis was identified as one of the most hazardous asteroids that could impact Earth. But that impact assessment changed after astronomers tracked Apophis and its orbit became better determined.
A radar observation campaign in March 2021, combined with precise orbit analysis, allowed astronomers to conclude that there is no risk of Apophis impacting our planet for at least a century.
Estimated to be about 1,100 feet (340 meters) across, Apophis quickly gained notoriety as an asteroid that could pose a serious threat to Earth when astronomers predicted that it would come uncomfortably close in 2029. Thanks to additional observations of Apophis, the risk of an impact in 2029 was later ruled out, as was the potential impact risk posed by another close approach in 2036. Until March 2021, however, a small chance of impact in 2068 still remained.
When Apophis made a distant flyby of Earth around March 5, 2021, astronomers took the opportunity to use powerful radar observations to refine the estimate of its orbit around the Sun with extreme precision, enabling them to confidently rule out any impact risk in 2068 and long after.
“A 2068 impact is not in the realm of possibility anymore, and our calculations don’t show any impact risk for at least the next 100 years,” said Davide Farnocchia of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), which is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “With the support of recent optical observations and additional radar observations, the uncertainty in Apophis’ orbit has collapsed from hundreds of kilometers to just a handful of kilometers when projected to 2029. This greatly improved knowledge of its position in 2029 provides more certainty of its future motion, so we can now remove Apophis from the risk list.”
Farnocchia was referring to the Sentry Impact Risk Table. Maintained by CNEOS, the table keeps tabs on the few asteroids whose orbits take them so close to Earth that an impact can’t be ruled out. With the recent findings, the Risk Table no longer includes Apophis. Relying on optical telescopes and ground-based radar to help characterize every known near-Earth object’s orbit to improve long-term hazard assessments, CNEOS computes high-precision orbits in support of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office.
To arrive at the Apophis calculations in 2021, astronomers used the 70-meter (230-foot) radio antenna at the Deep Space Network’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex near Barstow, California, to precisely track Apophis’ motion. “Although Apophis made a recent close approach with Earth, it was still nearly 10.6 million miles [17 million kilometers] away. Even so, we were able to acquire incredibly precise information about its distance to an accuracy of about 150 meters [490 feet],” said JPL scientist Marina Brozovic, who led the radar campaign. “This campaign not only helped us rule out any impact risk, it set us up for a wonderful science opportunity.”
Goldstone also worked in a collaboration with the 100-meter (330-foot) Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia in order to enable imaging of Apophis; Goldstone was transmitting while Green Bank was receiving – a “bistatic” experiment that doubled the strength of the received signal.
The radar team continues to analyze its data, and they expect to learn more about the asteroid’s shape. Previous radar observations have suggested that Apophis has a “bilobed,” or peanutlike, appearance. This is a relatively common shape among near-Earth asteroids larger than 660 feet (200 meters) in diameter – at least one in six have two lobes.
Astronomers are also working to develop a better understanding of the asteroid’s rotation rate and the axis it spins around (known as its spin state). That knowledge will enable them to determine the orientation the asteroid will have with Earth as it encounters our planet’s gravitational field in 2029, which could change that spin state and even cause “asteroid quakes.”

Animation of Asteroid Apophis’ 2029 Close Approach with Earth
On April 13, 2029, Apophis will pass less than 20,000 miles (32,000 kilometers) from our planet’s surface – closer than the distance of geosynchronous satellites. During that 2029 close approach, Apophis will be visible to observers on the ground in the Eastern Hemisphere without the aid of a telescope or binoculars. It’s also an unprecedented opportunity for astronomers to get a close-up view of a solar system relic that is now just a scientific curiosity and not an immediate hazard to our planet.

How Apophis Got Its Name​

Apophis is named for the demon serpent who personified evil and chaos in ancient Egyptian mythology.


Apophis was discovered on June 19, 2004, by astronomers Roy Tucker, David Tholen, and Fabrizio Bernardi at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona. They were only able to observe the asteroid for two days because of technical and weather problems. Fortunately, a team at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia spotted the asteroid again later in the same year.
Since its discovery, optical and radar telescopes have tracked Apophis as it orbits the Sun and scientists are confident they know its future trajectory.
NASA is redirecting a spacecraft to study the asteroid. After completing its current mission to gather a sample of asteroid Bennu in 2023, OSIRIS-REx will be renamed OSIRIS-APophis EXplorer (OSIRIS-APEX). It will be redirected to encounter Apophis during the asteroid's 2029 Earth flyby. OSIRIS-APEX will enter orbit around Apophis soon after the flyby, providing an unprecedented close-up look at the asteroid. The spacecraft’s thrusters will be fired in an attempt to dislodge and study the dust and small rocks on and below Apophis’ surface.

Size and Distance

Apophis is about 1,100 feet (340 meters) in width. At its farthest, Apophis can reach a distance of about 2 astronomical units (One astronomical unit, abbreviated as AU, is the distance from the Sun to Earth.) away from Earth. It’s expected to safely pass close to Earth – within 19,794 miles (31,860 kilometers) from our planet’s surface – on April 13, 2029. This will be the closest approach to Earth by an asteroid of this size that scientists have known about in advance.

Orbit and Rotation

The orbit of Apophis crosses the orbit of Earth. It completes an orbit around the Sun in a little less than one Earth year (about 0.9 years). This places it in the group of Earth-crossing asteroids known as "Atens," whose orbits are smaller in width than the width of Earth's orbit, or 1 AU. As a result of its close encounter with Earth in 2029, the asteroid's orbit will be widened to become slightly larger than the width of Earth's orbit. At this point, it will be reclassified from the Aten group to the "Apollo" group (the group of Earth-crossing asteroids with orbits wider than 1 AU).
The asteroid “wobbles” as it spins about its short axis, typically rotating about once every 30 hours. Sometimes, there is also a “rocking” motion back and forth about its long axis, as well, which occurs over a longer period than the short axis wobble. (The technical term for this rocking motion is “non-principal axis rotation.”)


Apophis is classified as an S-type, or stony-type asteroid made up of silicate (or rocky) materials and a mixture of metallic nickel and iron. Radar images suggest it is elongated and possibly has two lobes, making it look something like a peanut. Much more will be learned about this asteroid's structure following its close flyby of Earth in 2029.


Like all asteroids, Apophis is a remnant from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. It originated in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Over millions of years, its orbit was changed primarily by the gravitational influence of large planets like Jupiter so that it now orbits the Sun closer to Earth. As a result, Apophis is classified as a near-Earth asteroid, as opposed to a main-belt asteroid.


There are no high-resolution images of the surface of asteroid Apophis, but it is likely similar to surfaces of other stony-type asteroids like Itokawa, the first asteroid from which samples were captured and brought to Earth for analysis.









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