2017 VL2

Summary

2017 VL2
2017 VL2 orbit.png
The orbit of 2017 VL2 and positions on 1 January 2018
Discovery [1]
Discovered byATLAS
Discovery siteMauna Loa Obs.
Discovery date10 November 2017
Designations
2017 VL2
NEO · Apollo[1][2]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 7
Observation arc(16 days)
Aphelion1.5139 AU
Perihelion0.9466 AU
1.2303 AU
Eccentricity0.2306
1.36 yr (498 days)
337.43°
0° 43m 20.28s / day
Inclination12.091°
227.05°
139.41°
Earth MOID0.0012 AU (0.5 LD)
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
18 m (est. at 0.20)[3]
6–32 m (estimate)[4]
26.079[1]

2017 VL2 is a micro-asteroid, classified as a near-Earth object of the Apollo group. It was first observed by ATLAS at Mauna Loa Observatory on 10 November 2017, a day after it passed inside the orbit of Earth.[2][5]

Orbit and classification

2017 VL2 is an Apollo asteroid, the largest subgroup of near-Earth objects. It orbits the Sun at a distance of 0.9–1.5 AU once every 16 months (498 days; semi-major axis of 1.23 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.23 and an inclination of 12° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] It is, however, not a Mars-crossing asteroid, as its aphelion of 1.51 AU is less than the orbit of the Red Planet at 1.666 AU.[1]

Close approaches

The object has a minimum orbital intersection distance with Earth of 180,000 km (0.0012 AU), which corresponds to 0.5 lunar distances.[1] On 9 November 2017, it came within 0.31 lunar distances of the Earth (see diagrams).[5]

Path of 2017 VL2 as it passed inside Earth's orbit on 9 November 2017 (left). The object's path in the sky with 1 hour of motion on 9 November 2017 (right).

Physical characteristics

2017 VL2 has been estimated to measure between 6 and 32 meters in diameter,[4] comparable to the Chelyabinsk meteor, which was also not observed before it hit the atmosphere over Russia in 2013. For an assumed albedo of 0.20, which is typical for the common S-type asteroids, 2017 VL2's diameter would be likely 18 meters only.[3]

As of 2018, no rotational lightcurve of this asteroid has been obtained from photometric observations. The object's rotation period, pole and shape remain unknown.[1][6]

Numbering and naming

This minor planet has not yet been numbered by the Minor Planet Center and remains unnamed.[2]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: (2017 VL2)" (2017-11-26 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "2017 VL2". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Asteroid Size Estimator". CNEOS NASA/JPL. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b "A huge asteroid zoomed terrifyingly close to Earth and Nasa didn't see it coming". Metro. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Asteroid 2017 VL2 close approach – International Asteroid Warning Network". iawn.net. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  6. ^ "LCDB Data for (2017 VL2) – Not in Data Base". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 7 February 2018.

External links

  • MPEC 2017-V67 : 2017 VL2 minor planet center
  • 2017 VL2 at NeoDyS-2, Near Earth Objects—Dynamic Site
    • Ephemeris · Obs prediction · Orbital info · MOID · Proper elements · Obs info · Close · Physical info · NEOCC
  • 2017 VL2 at ESA–space situational awareness
    • Ephemerides · Observations · Orbit · Physical Properties · Summary
  • 2017 VL2 at the JPL Small-Body Database
    • Close approach · Discovery · Ephemeris · Orbit diagram · Orbital elements · Physical parameters