MadSci Network: Astronomy

Re: what is the name of the next asteroid predicted to come near earth

Date: Thu Nov 19 17:34:19 1998
Posted By: Richard Goode, Science Department Chair, Secondary School Teacher Physics, Porterville High School, Porterville CA
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 909071273.As

Many objects pass close to the Earth all the time. There are more than 100 
major and minor meteor showers each year. There are also many asteroids and 
comets in space near the Earth all the time. Just this week, the Earth 
passed through the debris trail of Comet Temple-Tuttle. This resulted in 
the Leonid Meteor Shower. It is called the Leonid because all the meteors 
appear to come from the Constellation Leo. If you are interested in these 
showers check out this site for a calendar. Meteor Observing Calendar
Comets can be short period comets or long period comets. Short period 
comets orbit the sun in a short period of time. Comet Temple-Tuttle orbits 
the sun every 33 years. There are several such comets visble in medium 
sized telescopes all the time. Long period comets take a long time to orbit 
the sun. Taking thousands or even hundreds of thousands of years to 
complete one orbit. Comet Haykutaki and Comet Hale-Bopp are two examples of 
long period comets.
There are a large number of asteroids that orbit near the Earth. Many of 
which have not yet been discovered. There are several that will approach 
the Earth in the near future. 
1863 Antinous in April 1999      
1991 JX in June 1999
Even the asteroids that are going to pass close to the Earth are not really 
that close. The ones listed above will pass well beyond the orbit of the 
moon. These are the asteroids that have been discovered. There are many 
more out there that we haven't found yet. 
The ones listed above are just the ones that I found in a short internet 
search. There are more out there just waiting to be discovered. To find out 
more about these topics try these sites. The Nine Planets
The Astronomy Cafe 
Ask The Astronomer
These sites are where I go to get some of the information for my answers.

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