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Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 13:27 UTC

In our newsletter of December last year, we devoted this section to the discovery of asteroid 1997 XF11. Twenty years ago, on 11 March 1998, astronomer B. Marsden released an IAU Circular stating that the asteroid would pass within 0.002 au of Earth on 26 October 2028.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 13:29 UTC

On 10 February 1896 at 09:30 a large fireball appeared in the sky over the Spanish capital, Madrid. The bolide exploded at high-altitude and an air-burst was reported by many observers. Slightly more than one minute after the explosion the shock wave reached the city, causing quite some fear among the population.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 13:30 UTC

For the first time in the history of NEA observations more than 2 000 new NEAs have been discovered in one calendar year, resulting in a monthly average of nearly 170 new asteroids. In addition, 2017 was the fifth year in a row with NEA discoveries above a thousand.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 14:29 UTC

The Spacewatch project, located in Arizona, is probably the oldest of the asteroid survey still active today. They were the dominant discoverers of new asteroids in the ‘gos, and the pioneers of using CCDs to find new NEOs.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 14:33 UTC

Current NEO statistics During the last month the global numbered asteroid catalogue (including main belt asteroid) surpassed the threshold of half million objects. The number of known NEOs surpassed 17 000, thanks to more than 300 discoveries in a single month.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 14:35 UTC

Asteroid 2012 TC4is the target of an international observing campaign that will culminate this month during its close fly-by with Earth. The object will safely fly at about 44 000 km from the Earth surface, with no chance of collision with our planet.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 14:39 UTC

Asteroid 2012 TC4, discovered five years ago by the Pan-STARRS survey,will come back close to Earth on 12 October 2077.It will fly-by at 44 000 km from the surface, providing a rare chance to carefully observe a small known object during its entire approach to our planet.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 14:40 UTC

Near-Earth asteroid 3122 Florence will have a close pass by Earth on1 September when it will be at a closest distance of 0.0472 au (18.4 LD), which makes it a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA). This Amor object, named after nurse Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), has an estimated diameter of ~4.35 km and was discovered in March 1981 by S.J. Bus at Siding Spring Observatory.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 14:43 UTC

The month of June 2002, 15 years ago, marked the kick-off of six parallel preliminary studies carried out by ESA’s General Studies Programme (GSP) in order to analyse possible asteroid missions. Three of those studies were devoted to in-orbit telescopes for NEO discovery and characterization, other two were devoted to asteroid rendezvous missions and finally one for asteroid rendezvous and impact.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 14:44 UTC

Just a few days before the edition of the present newsletter a large bolide crossed the Italian northern sky. The event was observed by many people and in particular by a newly installed fireball network PRISMA (see next page). Such images have been used to determine the trajectory of the entering object.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 14:46 UTC

In the acronym "NEO"the final letter O stands for "Object", because the group is generally understood to include both asteroids and comets that come close to Earth. It is however interesting to note that most aspects of the NEO discovery process we commonly associate with asteroids happened first for comets

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 14:48 UTC

The closest approach distance is not the only important parameter for assessing the asteroid hazard. The velocity plays a crucial role in shaping the outcome of a close encounter as well as in evaluating the consequences of an impact. The speed at which an asteroid flies by the Earth results from geometrical and dynamical considerations characterizing its pre-encounter orbit.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 14:50 UTC

During the past year ESA funded the refurbishment and modernization of the 0.8 m Schmidt reflector located at the Calar Alto Observatory in Spain. The telescope, identified with the MPC code Z84,is now operational and can be remotely controlled.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 14:51 UTC

Every month about 40 known or recently discovered asteroids come within 0.05 astronomical units, or about 19 lunar radii, from our planet. In some cases, such as in the month of December 2016,four or even five objects reach their closest approach distance on the same day.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 14:53 UTC

During 2015-2016 ESA funded the development of two small robotic observatories, called the Test-Bed Telescopes (TBTs). The main goal is to develop and test a fully automated telescope control system to observe NEOs and space debris.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 15:20 UTC

Whenever a new set of observations for an object is published, our Impact Monitoring routines perform a new search for possibly impacting orbits compatible with such set of observations. The system is capable of detecting all possibly impacting orbits down to an impact probability threshold, named “generic completeness level”.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 15:24 UTC

The number of known near-Earth asteroids has just surpassed the threshold of 15000. That is a 50% increase with respect to 2013, when the 10000th object was found, highlighting the ever increasing success of ground-based NEO detection surveys.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-07-31 15:26 UTC

The month of September was unusually rich of close approaches. Nine objects,all with a diameter of about 10 metres, flew by our planet closer than about the distance of the Moon.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-08-02 09:49 UTC

The NEO Coordination Centre web portal is an evolving environment: new services are added whenever ready to be made publicly available. This is the case for two software packages addressing key issues in NEO science: an updated NEO population model and an NEO propagator.

Type: Document
Date/Time: 2019-08-02 09:52 UTC

2016 NA39 is a newly-discovered asteroid that for a few days in mid-July deserved attention. Because of its large size, around one kilometre, it became the highest rated object with possible impacts in the current century, scoring as high as Palermo Scale of —2.6.