2010 GZ60

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2010 GZ60
Discovery [1][2]
Discovered by WISE
Discovery site Earth orbit
Discovery date 5 April 2010
(first observed only)
Designations
MPC designation 2010 GZ60
centaur[2] · main-belt[1]
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch 6 April 2010 (JD 2455292.5)
Uncertainty parameter 9
Observation arc 1+ day
Aphelion 9.3 ± 43 AU
Perihelion 2.2 ± 0.6 AU
5.7 ± 27 AU
Eccentricity 0.62 ± 1.7
13.8 ± 97 yr (5,034 d)
349 ± 87°
0° 4m 17.4s / day
Inclination 16.6 ± 2.8°
25.4 ± 26°
161 ± 24°
Earth MOID ~1.2 AU
Jupiter MOID ~1.0 AU
TJupiter 2.487
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
km[3]
n.a.[1][2]

2010 GZ60 is a centaur on an highly eccentric orbit from the outer Solar System,[2] originally estimated by JPL to be a near-Earth asteroid approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) in diameter.[4] Conversely, the Minor Planet Center classifies the object as an asteroid from the inner region of the asteroid belt.[1] It was first observed from Earth's orbit by the WISE telescope on 5 April 2010 and still has a very poorly determined orbit.[1]

Description[edit]

2010 GZ60 was observed for a period of 1.2 days by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope during 5–6 April 2010. The asteroid has not been observed since.[1] By mid November 2010 the uncertainty in the asteroids position had grown to ±1 billion km. Based on the exceptionally poor orbit determination, the object was theoretically an Earth impactor because many impact solutions were compatible with the data.[4] 2010 GZ60 missed several calculated impact dates.[4] The Minor Planet Center orbit solution may be recoverable near opposition in March 2018.

In February 2018, the NEOWISE team reanalyzed their data and found an additional detection from 5 April 2010 that extended the observation arc by about three hours.[5] As a result of this additional observation, the new orbit is closer to that of a main belt orbit and 2010 GZ60 was removed from the Sentry Risk Table on 23 February 2018.[6]

Size[edit]

Not only is the orbit of 2010 GZ60 poorly known, but also the size is largely uncertain. There is no ground-based photometry. Based on the WISE flux, it obtained a size estimate of 2 km, which should be seen as more of an upper limit.

Pre-2018 orbit solutions[edit]

Until February 2018, 2010 GZ60 was identified in only 14 images, and the observations spanned a very short observation arc of 1​14 days during 5–6 April 2010.[7][3] On 5 April 2010 the asteroid was estimated to have been 1.8 AU (270,000,000 km; 170,000,000 mi) from Earth with an uncertainty in the asteroids distance of ±500 million km.[8] With perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) estimated at 1.16 ± 3.5 AU,[9] it was possible this asteroid barely comes inside the orbit of Jupiter which is located 5 AU from the Sun. However, due to the shortness of observations, the object's orbit was only known with the highest possible uncertainty parameter of 9[9] and an orbital note of E[7][a] thus the calculated orbital elements have a large margin of error.[9]

Using the same 14 observations, the 2017 orbit calculations showed 481 potential close approaches to Earth between 2017 and 2116, with a cumulative rating of –0.76 on the Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale, which was the highest for any object on NASA's Sentry Risk Table during 2017 and early 2018.[4] This high rating was a result of the object's estimated size and hundreds of potential close approaches to Earth, rather than any confidence in the prediction of any single virtual impactor.[4] As of February 2018, there are 144 Near-Earth objects known to have a diameter of at least 2 km.[10] 2010 GZ60 was the largest object listed on the Sentry Risk Table.

2010 GZ60 missed 4 virtual impactor dates considered in the 2017 orbit calculations: 22 May 2017, 1 December 2017, 20 December 2017, and 8 January 2018.[4] The next potential close approach by 2010 GZ60 was to be on 17 December 2018 with the odds of an Earth impact being 1 in 91 million.[3] JPL Horizons nominal solution estimated that on 17 December 2018 the asteroid would be 1.9 AU (280,000,000 km; 180,000,000 mi) from Earth with a 3-sigma uncertainty of ±10 billion km.[8][b]

Among the potential close approaches, the one on 10 February 2027 had the highest impact risk with a Palermo Scale rating of –1.98, which was the third-highest for any object on the Sentry Risk Table in early 2018.[3] But the uncertainty in the geocentric distance on 10 February 2027 was ±17 billion km.[8] The odds of this asteroid impacting Earth on 10 February 2027 were 1 in 4.8 million.[3]

In 2017 the Minor Planet Center (MPC) used 11 of the 14 observations and listed 2010 GZ60 as a Mars-crosser with perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) at 1.37 AU.[7]

2018 orbit solution[edit]

In February 2018, the NEOWISE team reanalyzed their data and found an additional detection from 5 April 2010 that extended the observation arc by about three hours.[5] This new observation resulted in the JPL Small-Body Database lifting the nominal perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) from 1.2 AU[9] to 2.2 AU.[2] Using the still poorly constrained 21 February 2018 orbit solution,[2] JPL Horizons shows that on the discovery date of 5 April 2010 the asteroid is estimated to have been 2.2 AU (330,000,000 km; 200,000,000 mi) from Earth with an uncertainty in the asteroid's distance of ±350 million km and moving away from Earth at 13±41 km/s.[8] Perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) is estimated to have occurred around September 2010.[2] Aphelion (furthest distance from the Sun) is estimated to have occurred around February 2016. As of March 2018, the asteroid is estimated to be 7.5 AU (1.1 billion km) from Earth.[c] Perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) may not occur again until August 2021.

Orbits computed with only a handful of observations can be unreliable. Short observation arcs can result in computer generated orbits rejecting some data unnecessarily. The 2018 JPL orbit determination shows a semi-major axis of 4.9 AU (albeit with a large 20 AU uncertainty) which would be near Jupiter's orbit.[2] Such an orbit would be unstable unless it was a Jupiter trojan. Jupiter trojans have (4.6 AU < semi-major axis < 5.5 AU; eccentricity < 0.3).[11] The nominal semi-major axis of 2010 GZ60 is just outside of the asteroid belt. As more observations come in, it is expected the orbit determination will be that of a main belt asteroid as they are by far the most numerous discovered objects in the solar system and account for 94% of all known Small Solar System bodies.[d] Outer main belt asteroids have a semi-major axis less than 4.6 AU.[12] The orbital inclination is the easiest part of an orbit to determine and both JPL and the MPC list the inclination around 16.4 degrees.[2][1]

The 2018 Minor Planet Center's (MPC) orbit solution uses 12 of the 15 observations and also lists the asteroid as a main belt asteroid.[1] The new observation found in 2018 resulted in the MPC lifting perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) from 1.37 AU[7] to 1.98 AU.[1] The MPC solution estimates the asteroid came to perihelion 1.98 AU from the Sun around February 2009.[13] On the discovery date of 5 April 2010, the asteroid is estimated to have been 2.3 AU from Earth and 2.6 AU from the Sun. As of March 2018, the asteroid is estimated to be 1.8 AU (270 million km) from Earth with opposition occurring around 19 March 2018 with a solar elongation of 167 degrees in the constellation of Virgo.[13] But in reality, with a 1-day observation arc from 8 years ago, the asteroid could be 90 degrees from the nominal position.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ MPC's uncertainty code "E" stands for remark "Eccentricity assumed", as per Publishable Notes for Orbits of Minor Planets
  2. ^ Neptune is 4.5 billion km from the Sun.
  3. ^ Saturn is 1.3 billion km from the Sun.
  4. ^ There are 755 thousand known minor planets of which 711 thousand objects are either inner, core, or outer main belt asteroids. Only 7 thousand objects are known as Jupiter trojans, unclassified asteroids, or Jupiter Family comets.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "2010 GZ60 Orbit". Minor Planet Center. Archived from the original on 19 January 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: (2010 GZ60)" (solution date 2018-Feb-21). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Earth Impact Risk Summary – (2010 GZ60)". CNEOS NASA/JPL. 18 April 2017. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Earth Impact Risk Summary – (2010 GZ60)". CNEOS NASA/JPL. 18 April 2017. Archived from the original on 4 May 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  5. ^ a b "MPEC 2018-D36 : DAILY ORBIT UPDATE (2018 FEB. 21 UT)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 24 February 2018.  (K10G60Z)
  6. ^ "Date/Time Removed". NASA/JPL CNEOS. Retrieved 2018-02-26. 
  7. ^ a b c d MPC: 2010 GZ60 Orbit (2017 solution) "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  8. ^ a b c d JPL Horizons: 2010 GZ60 (Soln.date: 2017-Apr-08)
    Under "Table Settings" select "39. Range & range-rate". Uncertainty in distance (km) is RNG_3sigma
  9. ^ a b c d JPL Small-Body Database Browser: (2010 GZ60) solution date: 2017-Apr-08 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018. 
  10. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Search Engine: NEOs and diameter >= 2 (km)". Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Dynamics. Retrieved 1 March 2018. 
  11. ^ "JPL Orbit Classification: Jupiter Trojan". Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  12. ^ "JPL Orbit Classification: Outer Main-belt Asteroid". Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  13. ^ a b "Minor Planet & Comet Ephemeris Service". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 1 March 2018. 

External links[edit]