2014 HQ124

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2014 HQ124
2014 HQ124 Radar.jpg
Radar image of 2014 HQ124 taken by the Arecibo Observatory on 8 June 2014
Discovery [1][2]
Discovered byNEOWISE (C51)
Discovery date23 April 2014
Designations
2014 HQ124
NEO · Aten · PHA[1][3]
Orbital characteristics[3]
Epoch 31 May 2020 (JD 2459000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 1
Observation arc4.09 yr (1,495 d)
Aphelion1.0712 AU
Perihelion0.6303 AU
0.8508 AU
Eccentricity0.2591
287 days
97.870°
1° 15m 21.6s / day
Inclination26.371°
257.56°
144.51°
Earth MOID0.0084 AU (3.27 LD)
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
0.409±0.168 km[4][5]
>16 h[6][7]
0.291±0.216[4][5]
S (assumed)[6]
18.9[1][3]

2014 HQ124 is a sub-kilometer asteroid, classified as near-Earth object and potentially hazardous asteroid of the Aten group, approximately 400 meters (1,300 feet) in diameter. It passed 3.25 lunar distances (LD) from Earth on 8 June 2014.[8] It was discovered on 23 April 2014 by NEOWISE.[2] It is estimated that an impact event would have had the energy equivalent of 2,000 megatons of TNT and would have created a 5 km (3 mi) impact crater.[9] The news media misleadingly nicknamed it The Beast.[10] 2014 HQ124 previously passed this close to Earth in 1952[8] and will not again until at least 2307.[11] Radar imaging suggests it may be a contact binary.[12]

Orbit[edit]

2014 HQ124 orbits the Sun at a distance of 0.6–1.1 AU once every 0 years and 9 months (287 days; semi-major axis of 0.85 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.26 and an inclination of 26° with respect to the ecliptic.[3]

2014 close approach[edit]

2014 HQ124 radar images in June 2014

On 6 June 2014, the asteroid brightened to about apparent magnitude 13.7 while in the southern constellation of Horologium.[13] Near its closest approach to Earth of 3.25 lunar distances on 8 June 2014, the asteroid crossed the celestial equator, making it a northern hemisphere object. It however had an elongation of about 20 degrees from the Sun,[13] and was lost in astronomical twilight during the closest approach to Earth. The Goldstone Deep Space Network observed the asteroid later on 8 June 2014,[14] when the asteroid was between 3.6 and 3.8 lunar distances.[12]

2014 HQ124 orbit showing high inclination and 2014 Earth flyby
The sky trajectory of 2014 HQ124, as seen from earth, with 12-hour motion markers

Physical characteristics[edit]

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, 2014 HQ124 measures (0.409±0.168) kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of (0.291±0.216) based on an absolute magnitude of 18.9.[4][5]

Radar observations at Goldstone suggest that the object is elongated and irregular in shape, with its long axis measuring at least 370 meters (1,200 feet). Lance Benner suspects it the be a contact binary, composed of two merged objects forming a single asteroid with a lobed shape.[12]

Photometric observations by astronomers with the Mission Accessible Near-Earth Objects Survey (MANOS) and subsequent evaluation by Brian Warner's Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link, determined that 2014 HQ124 has a rotation period of at least 16 hours.[6][7] While the object's spectral type is unknown, Warner assumes it to be an S-type asteroid, based on its high albedo, which is typical for stony asteroids.[6]

Related objects[edit]

On average, an object about the size of 2014 HQ124 will pass this close to Earth every few years.[15] Similar events, where other 100+ meter diameter asteroids have or will soon pass less than 4 LD from Earth, include:

  • 4179 Toutatis (~3000 meters in diameter) passed 4.0 LD from Earth on 29 September 2004
  • 2004 XP14 (~500 meters in diameter) passed 1.1 LD from Earth on 3 July 2006
  • (308635) 2005 YU55 (~360 meters in diameter) passed 0.8 LD from Earth on 8 November 2011
  • 2014 EG45 (~140 meters in diameter) passed 3.2 LD from Earth on 4 March 2014[16]
  • (357439) 2004 BL86 (~600 meters in diameter) passed 3.1 LD from Earth on 26 January 2015[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "2014 HQ124". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b "MPEC 2014-H67 : 2014 HQ124". IAU Minor Planet Center. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014. (K14HC4Q)
  3. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: (2014 HQ124)" (2018-05-27 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Mainzer, A. K.; Bauer, J. M.; Cutri, R. M.; Grav, T.; Kramer, E. A.; Masiero, J. R.; et al. (June 2016). "NEOWISE Diameters and Albedos V1.0". NASA Planetary Data System: EAR-A-COMPIL-5-NEOWISEDIAM-V1.0. Bibcode:2016PDSS..247.....M.
  5. ^ a b c "Asteroid 2014 HQ124". Small Bodies Data Ferret. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d "LCDB Data for (2014+HQ124)". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  7. ^ a b Thirouin, A.; Moskovitz, N.; Binzel, R. P.; Christensen, E.; DeMeo, F. E.; Person, M. J.; et al. (December 2016). "The Mission Accessible Near-Earth Objects Survey (MANOS): First Photometric Results". The Astronomical Journal. 152 (6): 163. arXiv:1607.03517. Bibcode:2016AJ....152..163T. doi:10.3847/0004-6256/152/6/163. ISSN 0004-6256.
  8. ^ a b "JPL Close-Approach Data: (2014 HQ124)" (last observation: 2014-06-10; arc: 48 days). Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  9. ^ Mike Wall (6 June 2014). ""Beast" Asteroid to Fly by Earth on Sunday". Scientific American. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  10. ^ https://twitter.com/AreciboRadar/status/475709720842366977
  11. ^ "This was the closest Earth encounter by the object until at least 2307". Twitter: Michael Busch. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  12. ^ a b c Dyches, Preston (12 June 2014). "Giant Telescopes Pair Up to Image Near-Earth Asteroid". JPL news. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  13. ^ a b "2014HQ124 Ephemerides for 4 June 2014 through 10 June 2014". NEODyS (Near Earth Objects – Dynamic Site). Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  14. ^ Dr. Lance A. M. Benner (30 May 2014). "Goldstone Radar Observations Planning: 2014 HQ124". NASA/JPL Asteroid Radar Research. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  15. ^ "Asteroid Discovered by NASA to Pass Earth Safely". Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  16. ^ "JPL Close-Approach Data: (2014 EG45)" (last observation: 2014-04-04; arc: 24 days). Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  17. ^ "JPL Close-Approach Data: 357439 (2004 BL86)" (last observation: 2013-03-12; arc: 9.1 years). Retrieved 3 June 2014.

External links[edit]