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Sudden Asteroid Warning:

This may affect some satellites, even if there is no direct impact with sats or earth. Doubtful that this will enter the earth's atmosphere, but it could impact sats or cause sats to take immediate evasive actions that could effect communications and gps on earth.

[ETA 1pm est]

http://remanzacco.blogspot.com/2011/02/2011-cq1-very-close-approach.html
Friday, February 4, 2011
2011 CQ1 - Very Close Approach

The newly discovered object, officially designated 2011 CQ1, will make a close Earth approach today February 04, 2011 around 19:40UT at ~0.03(LD)/0.00008(AU) or 11855 km.


2011 CQ1 has been discovered by R. A. Kowalski few hours ago in the course of the "Catalina Sky Survey" with a 0.68-m Schmidt + CCD. The object was moving at roughly 6 "/min and it was of magnitude ~19. According to its absolute magnitude H=32 this is a very small object, in the order of 2-3 meters.


Just few hours after his discovery, we have been able to follow-up this object using remotely a 0.35-m f/3.8 reflector + CCD of "Tzec Maun Observatory" in New Mexico. At the moment of our images (on February 04.46), "2011 CQ1" was moving at 23"/min and its magnitude was ~18.
 

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Here's some info about the satellites that may be at risk with today's near miss asteriod;

If this 4-5 meter asteroid report is correct and according to UTC time span, this asteroid will pass at 0.3 lunar distance from earth [1/3 distance between the earth and our moon] between 1:40pm to 3:40pm today The peak time will be 2:40 at the closest point where the clarke belt [The geostationary orbit named after Arthur C. Clarke, who first described in detail how such an orbit could be used for global communications] will be at high risk for communications satellite impact by this asteroid.

"Geosynchronous Satellites" will be at risk of impact or disruptions. Often abbreviated as comsat, a communications satellite is a satellite that has been stationed in space for the purpose of providing telecommunications. Communications satellites are commonly used for mobile phone signals, weather tracking, or broadcasting television programs. Communications satellites are artificial satellites that relay receive signals from an earth station and then retransmits the signal to other earth stations. They commonly move in a geostationary orbit.
 

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It seems that this asteroid has passed by earth without any incident reports so far:

UPDATE - February 04, 2011 - 19:35UT
http://remanzacco.blogspot.com/2011/02/2011-cq1-very-close-approach.html
On mpml mailing list, Andrew Lowe pointed out that "that 2011 CQ1 will transit the sun shortly after its close approach. Based on astrometry up to MPEC 2011-C14, its "centre line" will start to cross the earth at Feb. 4.831 UT around N11 E160, with mid-transit at Feb 4.844 (S24 W125; south Pacific) and ending at Feb 04.858 (S29 W30)"

Andrew has supplied three coordinates on the centerline:

First contact: Feb 4.831 UT 11N, 160E (west of the Marshall Islands,
near Enewetak)

Mid-transit: Feb 4.844 UT 24S, 125W (French Polynesia, east of
Pitcairn Island)

Final contact: Feb 4.858 UT 29S, 30W (south Atlantic, off the coast
of Brazil)

Following this suggestion, Bill Gray calculated a transit line plot showing the path over South America. You can see the charts here:

http://www.projectpluto.com/cq1.png


http://www.projectpluto.com/cq1a.png
 

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Wow! Close this time, but the earth's gravity has changed this asteroids course in orbit. Even though this is a very small one, it may be a disaster on it's next path toward earth. The small size means there will be very little warning when it returns, just like this time only had a few hours warning. They didn't see it coming until a few hours before it arrived at our doorstep.

Here's is nasa's report:
________________________________________

Very Small Asteroid Makes Close Earth Approach on February 4, 2011
NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office
February 4, 2011

Asteroid 2011 CQ1 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on February 4 and made a record close Earth approach 14 hours later on February 4 at 19:39 UT (14:39 EST). It passed to within 0.85 Earth radii (5480 km) of the Earth's surface over a region in the mid-Pacific. This object, only about one meter in diameter, is the closest non-impacting object in our asteroid catalog to date. Prior to the Earth close approach, this object was in a so-called Apollo-class orbit that was mostly outside the Earth's orbit. Following the close approach, the Earth's gravitational attraction modified the object's orbit to an Aten-class orbit where the asteroid spends almost all of its time inside the Earth's orbit.

As is evident from the diagram, the close Earth approach changed the asteroid's flight path by about 60 degrees. Because of their small size, object's of this size are difficult to discover but there is likely to be nearly a billion objects of this size and larger in near-Earth space and one would expect one to strike Earth's atmosphere every few weeks on average. Upon striking the atmosphere, small objects of this size create visually impressive fireball events but only rarely do even a few small fragments reach the ground.
http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news170.html
 

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Get that space program back in gear. Someday this little blue ball isn't going to work any more.
I think in Gelogic time compared to a day we have been here a few milliseconds. That put's things in perspective. Now compare to the time ofr the universe.
 

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Here's some info about the satellites that may be at risk with today's near miss asteriod;
Technically, it's a near hit. A near miss would insinuate the asteroid actually hit something. :p

Still, there's nothing like some interstellar billiards to put you in your place in the grand scheme of things.

And we still have that bigger one called Apophis coming in 2029 which, depending on the course of its fly-by (also below the Clarke Belt), will determine if the asteroid will impact the Earth on its return trip in 2038.
 
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