Posted by BC on January 10th, 2008
It looks like Mars will be spared after all. An asteroid, 2007 WD5, was discovered on Nov. 20, 2007, and its orbit appeared to cross that of Mars. The 22nd magnitude hunk of cosmic debris kept asteroid observers on their toes as they followed it closer to the small planet. Impact odds went up to 1 in 25 at one time, but now things are different.
NASA/JPL currently predicts that 2007 WD5 will miss the surface of Mars by approximately 4000 km. The possibility for a collision still remains, bu now the 1 in 10,000 odds deem the collision improbable. To make enough observations of 2007 WD5 to plot the path well enough, it took several weeks and many observations. Observatories around the world tracked the asteroid to refine elements for the path, and scientists finally determined that the asteroid will miss the small red planet. The closest approach of 2007 WD5 to Mars is predicted to occur on Jan. 30, 2008, at around 12:00 UT.
Revised data can be found at the Near-Earth Object Program site.
4 people have commented
January 12th, 2008 @ 12:56 am
Whoohoo! Mars will bee spared! hey guys i love ur website! its been helping me on my chapter on the solar system alot! plus i need your facts on my science concept map
January 18th, 2008 @ 9:59 pm
Too bad, I am not sure how large the asteroid is, but i am sure that Mars could use all of the mass it can get so that it won’t be so small. If Mars were bigger than maybe it could help habitation of the planet in the future. Also if a larger body were to come along and be caught by gravity, Mars could have a new moon.
January 20th, 2008 @ 5:09 pm
If Mars had much more mass, the orbital elements may be affected. Yes, it may possibly have the gravity to hold an atmosphere and support human life, but then again, it may cause a shift in orbital position. Something to ponder. I’ll have to play with the equations to see how much additional mass Mars would need to shift orbits.
Ibong Adarna said,
January 31st, 2008 @ 12:58 pm
Great job guyz!!! hope u can help more guyz like me na nagpapakahirap maghanap ng ipapasang project!!! thanks guyz!!!