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The discovery of a 2- to 3-kilometre-wide asteroid in an orbit that goes backwards has set astronomers scratching their heads. It comes closer to Earth than any other object in a 'retrograde' orbit, and astronomers think they should have spotted it before.
Comet Halley moves backward (opposite to Earth's motion) around the Sun in a plane tilted 18 degrees to that of the Earth's orbit. Halley's backward, or retrograde, motion is unusual among short-period comets, as is its aphelion at a distance beyond the orbit of Neptune.
In 1705, Halley used Isaac Newton's theories of gravitation and planetary motions to compute the orbits of several comets. Halley noted that the computed orbits for bright comets seen in 1531, 1607 and 1682 were similar, and he suggested that the three comets observed were actually one comet making return trips. Halley correctly predicted the next return of the comet‹which occurred in 1758-1759, 16 years after his death‹and the comet now bears his name.
Originally posted by whatukno
Space it can be said is akin to a giant billiard table. Knock a ball in a direction it continues on that direction until it encounters an outside force, this case that force would be our sun.
I wonder however with it's proximity to Earth if the danger would be orbital shift due to our gravity well acting on this asteroid. Perhaps the orbit has shifted over time to come close enough for us to detect it. While back in 1999 it was too far away to be seen.
The asteroid, which is on a 3.x year orbit, should've been a close one back in '99 but noone noticed it.
You say this is because in '99 it wasn't there yet and entered it's current orbit within the last 10 years?
so that would mean that this asteroid has never been subject to our planets pull before, and since they say this is the closed one to earth in retrogate orbit... I'm sure they'll be calculating the effects of that right now.
btw, I'm not a chicken little
Originally posted by Common Good
yea that is crazy. whats interesting to me is the tilt of the orbit.
I didnt know that was possible, but then again I am no space geek.
as far as I remembered(or thought) I thought anything that was in orbit
was on the same galactic plane. So does this change anything in our views of how space works?
Great find OP.
side note- I hope we are far enough away from this thing, but from the picture it looks as if it crosses our path?