Russian Space Agency: Near Earth Asteroid 2014 UR116 – “Asteroid Attack” VIDEO RELEASED!

Asteroid attack
Asteroid attack

Vladimir Lipunov, a professor at Moscow State University, announced the find in a short documentary, “Asteroid Attack,” posted on the website of the Russian Space Agency on Sunday. Mr. Lipunov says the asteroid, which he calculates is 370 meters in diameter, could hit the Earth with an explosion 1,000 times greater than the surprise 2013 impact of a bus-sized meteor in Russia. That object entered Earth’s atmosphere over the city of Chelyabinsk,resulting in a series of ferocious blasts that blew out windows and damaged buildings for miles around.

Recently, with the help of the Russian robotic telescope network astrophysicist, a professor at Moscow State University Vladimir Lipunov detect potentially dangerous asteroid 2014 UR116. Its size is no longer known to earthlings Apophis. However, response, how seriously threatens the Earth asteroid unavailable. Today, scientists around the world are working to develop surveillance systems for space objects that threaten Earth.

An approximation of the orbit of 2014 UR116
An approximation of the orbit of 2014 UR116

If this Russian scientist is correct, Brian May’s Asteroid Day on June 30, 2015, may be too little, too late to save us from a mountain-sized asteroid he recently discovered.

Vladimir Lipunov is a lead scientist on the team which spotted asteroid 2014 UR116 on October 27, 2014, at the MASTER-II observatory in Kislovodsk, Russia

What does NASA say about 2014 UR116 and Lipunov’s warning? Here’s an excerpt from its press release:

While this approximately 400-meter sized asteroid has a three year orbital period around the sun and returns to the Earth’s neighborhood periodically, it does not represent a threat because it’s orbital path does not pass sufficiently close to the Earth’s orbit.

The release also refers to computations made after observing another object with a similar orbit six years ago.

These computations rule out this object as an impact threat to Earth (or any other planet) for at least the next 150 years.

Not everyone is that confident. Viktoria Damm from the Siberian Geodesic Academy Planetarium says Mars could affect the trajectory of 2014 UR116, although not for at least two years. Natan Esmant, an expert with the official Space Research Institute in Moscow, says a collision is “quite likely” but not for at least a few decades.

“Not for at least …” is not the most reassuring way to start a sentence about possible asteroid collisions, whether it’s from Roscosmos or NASA. Should we be worried about UR116?


Translated from Russian:

Daily attack our planet thousands of pieces of asteroids and comets. Small, pea-sized, burn up in the atmosphere before it can reach the surface. Other space and guests can reach the Earth, as it happened a few days ago in Karelia, where a celestial body fell into the lake. And two years ago, the car exploded over Chelyabinsk.

“When such an event becomes threatening or, God forbid, happens, it becomes a major for the entire population of the Earth – the director of the Institute of Astronomy, Boris Shustov. – And this should be ready for such a situation. They are rare, but there are.”

Cold comfort that cities and large settlements occupy only 4 percent of the planet’s surface, because the universe is full guarantee security of mankind does not. It is hard to imagine what would happen if an uninvited stranger fell metropolis like Moscow.

“The problem today is the most exciting scientific community, – says a leading researcher at the Institute of Astronomy, Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Bagrov. – If we believe that our Earth is threatened strikes from space, we must be sure to find out with any of the parties and any body to us fly in threatening ways. “

Recently, with the help of the Russian robotic telescope network team of astrophysicists led by Professor Vladimir Lipunova discovered potentially hazardous asteroids. In size it was even more the already known earthlings Apophis.

“Well, then hundreds of observations were performed worldwide, which specified orbit – says astrophysicist and professor at Moscow State University Vladimir Lipunov. – It was found that an asteroid with a diameter of about 370 meters, a little more of Apophis. But it is clear that it is at least three hundred meters. This is about more dangerous, more powerful explosion will be, if they fall to Earth than Chelyabinsk, say, an asteroid. “

After the Chelyabinsk meteorite interest in automated systems view of the sky rose sharply. The cars of this size proves the need to develop early detection tools. The results are already there. In 2013, astronomers using the new system detected three potentially hazardous asteroid.

“Now there are about a dozen observatories, which is actively engaged in the search for dangerous asteroids – says the scientific director of the observatory Ka Dar Stanislav short. – They are per night browsing most of the celestial sphere. This observatory PANSTARRS, in Hawaii.”

PANSTARRS system today is considered the best for finding fleeting cosmic phenomena. Such as gamma-ray bursts, the span of comets, asteroids and space debris. But even these huge mirror telescopes can miss dangerous space rocks. The system scans the sky and the night brings hundreds of thousands of objects. However, sort and timely detect Earth-threatening asteroid does not always work.

“The Americans opened ten times more dangerous asteroids, and this is due to the fact that their program they started back in the mid ’90s – says Vladimir Lipunov. – There were big infusion of funds, large telescopes. And we open the asteroids in the most small telescopes, on which all the world is opened. And I emphasize, this is done automatically. And telescopes, I repeat, is in Blagoveshchensk, on the lake, in the Urals. “

At this time, almost 400-meter potentially dangerous space wanderer codenamed 2014 UR116 spotted the Russian system of telescopes. “When we approach the asteroid, it is not yet known – continues Vladimir Lipunov. – It is necessary to clarify the orbit. It is now quite accurately known. Period – three years – is known. That is, three years later, he again will cross the orbit of the Earth. For them it is necessary to constantly monitor . Because one mistake, and, as they say, a disaster. The consequences can be very serious. “

Astronomers believe that the main “supplier” of dangerous objects for our planet – the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The bombing not only threaten Earth. If you look on a clear night on the moon, you can see numerous craters from falling asteroids and comet fragments. They are so large that astronomers have even called them the seas.

“Look at how many craters on the moon impact origin or Mercury or Venus, even the craters on Venus stokilometrovy via radio observed – says Boris Shustov. – And on Mars we just see the craters appear right before our eyes.”

Astrophysicists important to determine not only the orbit, but also the composition of the intruder spectrographic analysis at the next convergence asteroid with the Earth. This will determine the meteorite fall on the surface or destroy the Earth’s atmosphere.

“Stone of the body most often do not reach – explains Stanislav short. – They break into smaller pieces. But the metal reaches the surface. A striking example is the Arizona crater that was formed body about 40-50 meters. At the same time he reached the surface and impact fully allocated all the kinetic energy. “

Scientists believe: the most effective will monitor the space from Earth orbit special scientific apparatus. It was on such a project are now working at the Institute of Astronomy of the Academy of Sciences.

“It is possible to create a system of only 2-3 satellites that will continuously monitor the air and detect such a relatively small body of about 20-30 meters, well, at least for two or three days before their flight to the Earth – says a leading researcher Institute of Astronomy Alexander Bagrov. – And do not forget that there are weather conditions that interfere with observations. And in this space equipment would work round the clock. “

Guarantee of safety can give works in conjunction orbital and ground surveillance system that will find asteroids long before the dangerous proximity to our planet.

“We have developed a telescope” Master “of the third generation with a diameter of 1 meter, which will open the body, such as Chelyabinsk with flight time in one week – adds Vladimir Lipunov. – After 10-20 hours, you can not make it any missile to equip anything, but this week – this is a reasonable time. “

Astronomers found about ten thousand asteroids. They are assigned to the official numbers, and even their own names. However, according to scientists, in our Solar – millions of unknown space objects larger than a kilometer.

“What should I do? Preparing naturally – says Boris Shustov. – I think that sciences, astronomy, physics, geophysics had such an important task facing humanity.”

Dangerous strangers – Asteroids – at any moment can cross the Earth’s orbit. Mankind to learn more about this as soon as possible.