Volume 616, August 2018
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Section||Celestial mechanics and astrometry|
|Published online||07 September 2018|
Monitoring near-Earth-object discoveries for imminent impactors
Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, PO Box 64, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
2 Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, PO Box 848, 98128 Kiruna, Sweden
Accepted: 28 April 2018
Aims. We present an automated system called NEORANGER that regularly computes asteroid-Earth impact probabilities for objects on the Minor Planet Center’s (MPC) Near-Earth-Object Confirmation Page (NEOCP) and sends out alerts of imminent impactors to registered users. In addition to potential Earth-impacting objects, NEORANGER also monitors for other types of interesting objects such as Earth’s natural temporarily-captured satellites.
Methods. The system monitors the NEOCP for objects with new data and solves, for each object, the orbital inverse problem, which results in a sample of orbits that describes the, typically highly-nonlinear, orbital-element probability density function (PDF). The PDF is propagated forward in time for seven days and the impact probability is computed as the weighted fraction of the sample orbits that impact the Earth.
Results. The system correctly predicts the then-imminent impacts of 2008 TC3 and 2014 AA based on the first data sets available. Using the same code and configuration we find that the impact probabilities for objects typically on the NEOCP, based on eight weeks of continuous operations, are always less than one in ten million, whereas simulated and real Earth-impacting asteroids always have an impact probability greater than 10% based on the first two tracklets available.
Key words: minor planets, asteroids: general / planets and satellites: detection / methods: statistical
© ESO 2018
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.