Asteroid 2016VA, with dimensions reminiscent of the Chelyabinsk meteor flashed in the night from 1 for November 2 about the earth at a distance 77-78 thousand kilometers, or 0.2 of the distance to the moon. It can be observed from Moscow in the Eastern hemisphere of the sky. More recently, to predict the convergence with such a small celestial bodies, astronomers had a very difficult task. We called employee of the Department of space astrometry Institute of astronomy of RAS, Secretary of the expert working group on space threats of the RAS Council on space Sergey NARENKOV to know how many hours was discovered this potentially hazardous object, and would have a special service to prepare the population, if it threatened to fall.
So, the object 2016 VA flashed to 3.40 Moscow time at the distance of 77 million km from Earth. Seven hours of observations, the astronomers figured out that the “stone” was from 10 to 21 meters (for example, the Chelyabinsk meteorite was about the size of 19.8 meters in diameter to the moment when he entered the dense layers of the atmosphere), and the rate was 21 miles per second.
– The asteroid was spotted by American astronomers working in the Observatory Mount Lemmon (Arizona) for 16 hours before closest approach to the Earth that is generally considered a big success for such a small celestial bodies, – says Sergey Narbekov. At the time of discovery he had 18 apparent magnitude, and the maximum convergence with the Earth “grew” up to the 12th magnitude. Those astronomers knew about the upcoming approach 2016VA, could see it in telescopes (even good Amateur) in the Eastern hemisphere of the sky, an asteroid flew from the East to the South-West.
– If we assume that such an asteroid that was discovered during the day, threatens to fall, what can be done to avoid catastrophe on Earth?
– Let’s order. As soon as the astronomers would have seen the body that threatened to fall, then those two hours that it flies within sight of our telescopes, all observatories of the world would have to increase the number of observations for a dangerous body, to more accurately determine the trajectory and to calculate the likely area of fall. If the observations are to connect experts from different corners of the Earth, then, in this case, it is possible to define the region of the drop with an accuracy of up to 15-20 kilometers. Of course, after that, the local emergencies Ministry must quickly inform the population about the emergency. At the appointed time (the fall time can be determined with precision from ten to one minute) population of the area of the fall must take personal safety measures – strengthened glass with adhesive tape so they are not eliminated from the air blast, not to approach the Windows in a specific time period, and even better to leave home, hiding in the basement. In industrial enterprises it is necessary to take security measures in accordance with technological processes.
Watch the video on:
“MK TV. Meteorite falling in Chelyabinsk: all the eyewitness videos”
Chelyabinsk meteorite. Chronicle of events