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Earth Moid ( Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance) (Read 3147 times)
frankuitaalst
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Earth Moid ( Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance)
12/16/07 at 12:34:21
 
A lot of Asteroids are orbiting in space . Some of them come close to Earth . They are called NearEarthAsteroids ( NEA) .  
How close come they and where in their orbit ( or Earths orbit ) come they close ?
To figure out I selected all of the NEA with magnitude<18 from the Neodys site . There are actually 184 of them which are rather big .  
Their orbit can be seen in the animation hereunder .  
The first picture shows the orbit of Earth , and the first asteroid Eros .  
Then the space is filled with the other heavy NEA with magn<18.  
The red asterisks show the point of the orbit where the body comes close to Earth .  
Also the position of Earth is indicated with a red asterisk.
The plot was generated with a special purpose programm in PBasic able to calculate the minimum distance between elliptical orbits .
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MoidsEarthGif.gif
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frankuitaalst
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Re: Earth Moid ( Minimum Orbit Intersection Distan
Reply #1 - 12/18/07 at 12:56:47
 
Ever wondered if asteroids can hit each other ?  
There are a lot of big bodies out there , but space is also big .  
I ran the MOID-program for the largest 184 Nea asteroids , together with the inner planets , so in total about 18000 nearest distances can be calculated between each other asteroid .  
The result is shown hereunder .
Picture shows the minimum possible distance between each asteroid , in ascending order and expressed in a logarithmic scale of 1 Lunar distance .  
The smallest value between two asteroids is 0.02 Lunar distances , the next one is 0.04 LD .  
So probably there is not much chance having a collision between two such bodies .
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Moidsasteroids.jpg
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frankuitaalst
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Re: Earth Moid ( Minimum Orbit Intersection Distan
Reply #2 - 12/25/07 at 09:52:12
 
In the next frame all the NEA asteroids with magnitude<20 were selected .  
There are some 2450 of them .  
Their orbits are shown in the next frame . In each frame the point of minimum distance is indicated as a red dot . Subsequent frames show the irbits of Mercury , Venus , earth Mars and Jupiter . Their orbits become clear as red colored orbits as also the point in the orbit at minimum distance to each asteroid is indicated with a red dot .  
It seems that the miminum distance points may not have a preferred direction as the red dots seem to be "at random " .
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2440AstsAnim.gif
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