According to the agency's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the massive space rock will approach the planet within a lunar distance
of less than one.
The race would have taken more than a year, with the craft initially passing from west to east, then slowing to a stop in the sky as they reached geostationary orbit, before slowly moving east to west as they approached Lunar distance
. (Betting shops would have made a fortune!)
The asteroid was only discovered the night before and was due to come within 0.2 lunar distance
of the centre of the Earth at around 15:30 UTC on Jan 27.
This is about one third the lunar distance
from Earth, and effectively inside the Sun's corona where temperatures are a few million degrees Centigrade.
"Unfortunately, we don't get the group together of the original 24 that reached lunar distance
- 18 of us are still alive - as much as I think we ought to," said Buzz.
From the basics of coordinates, to sun sight reductions and lunar distance
sights, to sextant adjustments and altitude corrections, and an exhaustive wealth of appendices, Celestial Navigation in the GPS Age is an absolute "must-have" for offshore navigators and a readily accessible self-teaching tool.
Her framing underreports the feasibility of the chronometer and its astronomical rival, the lunar distance
method, which each satisfied different criteria.
According to the agency's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the asteroid might approach the planet at a lunar distance
of only one.
NEO Earth close approaches during 2019 NEO designation Date of closest Close approach Close approach velocity (km/s) Earth approach LD AU (2012 KT12) May 18 1.00 0.00257 3.95 (2016 NO56) Jul 07 1.00 0.00258 12.2 (2016 GE1) Apr 04 1.11 0.00285 10.13 (2015 EG) Mar 04 1.15 0.00295 9.64 (2017 KP27) Sep 26 2.03 0.00522 4.8 (2013 YM2) Jan 09 6.21 0.01596 4.28 (2017 PV25) Feb 12 7.09 0.01821 6.09 (2017 SL16) Sep 21 7.49 0.01925 6.47 NEO designation Estimated diameter (2012 KT12) 15-33 m (2016 NO56) 20-44 m (2016 GE1) 13-28 m (2015 EG) 19-43 m (2017 KP27) 18-41 m (2013 YM2) 15-34 m (2017 PV25) 32-71 m (2017 SL16) 18-41 m Key: LD: Lunar Distance
, average distance between the Earth and Moon, about 0.00257 AU.
Several asteroids were currently visible, and Dr Moore referred to the Near Earth object 2005 YU55 which had passed within 0.85 lunar distance
of the Earth on Nov 8.
Hilaire Method of navigation; sun sight reductions; sights of other celestial bodies; special sights; lunar distance
sights; the attitude observations; sextant checks and adjustments; operations at sea; insights from the navigation triangle; and concludes with exercises to reinforce understanding and build confidence.
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