Nearby asteroid found orbiting sun backwards

Initiate
Posts: 883
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:21 pm

PostSat May 02, 2009 10:28 pm » by Theshee


I found this fascinating....

The discovery of a 2- to 3-kilometre-wide asteroid in an orbit that goes backwards has set astronomers scratching their heads. It comes closer to Earth than any other object in a 'retrograde' orbit, and astronomers think they should have spotted it before.

The object, called 2009 HC82, was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on the morning of 29 April.

From observations of its position by five different groups, Sonia Keys of the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center calculated it orbits the sun every 3.39 years on a path that ventures within 3.5 million km of the Earth's orbit. Combined with its size, that makes 2009 HC82 a potentially hazardous asteroid.

What's really unusual is that the calculated orbit is inclined 155° to the plane of the Earth's orbit. That means that as it orbits the Sun, it actually travels backwards compared to the planets. It is only the 20th asteroid known in a retrograde orbit, a very rare group. None of the others comes as close to the Earth.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17073-nearby-asteroid-found-orbiting-sun-backwards.html

Master Conspirator
User avatar
Posts: 10610
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:11 pm

PostSat May 02, 2009 10:38 pm » by Cornbread714


theshee wrote:I found this fascinating....

The discovery of a 2- to 3-kilometre-wide asteroid in an orbit that goes backwards has set astronomers scratching their heads. It comes closer to Earth than any other object in a 'retrograde' orbit, and astronomers think they should have spotted it before.

The object, called 2009 HC82, was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on the morning of 29 April.

From observations of its position by five different groups, Sonia Keys of the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center calculated it orbits the sun every 3.39 years on a path that ventures within 3.5 million km of the Earth's orbit. Combined with its size, that makes 2009 HC82 a potentially hazardous asteroid.

What's really unusual is that the calculated orbit is inclined 155° to the plane of the Earth's orbit. That means that as it orbits the Sun, it actually travels backwards compared to the planets. It is only the 20th asteroid known in a retrograde orbit, a very rare group. None of the others comes as close to the Earth.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17073-nearby-asteroid-found-orbiting-sun-backwards.html


Cool post!
Where's the beer and when do I get paid?
- Jimmy Carl Black (the Indian of the group)



  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post
Visit Disclose.tv on Facebook