Near Earth Object – NEO Newsletter for January 2017

ESA’s monthly newsletter for Near Earth Object (NEO) provides valuable information on new NEO discoveries; important updates on asteroids threatening Earth; new findings on asteroid mitigation measures; interesting close approaches and significant updates in NEO science and technology.

There were significant updates to the NEO risk list ( The Risk List is a catalogue of all objects for which a non-zero impact probability has been detected. Each entry contains details on the highest-probability impact event for the specific object, including its date, time and probability.

In most cases, the size presented in the table is estimated indirectly from the absolute magnitude, and flagged with an asterisk to denote its large uncertainty. When a better measurement is available in the literature, it replaces the estimated value. )

Near Earth Object 2017 newsletter
The NEO Risk List (Credits: ESA)

New NEO discoveries since last month (December 2016) : 106

New NEO discoveries in the entire year 2016 : 1880

Notable asteroid close approaches:

  • NEO 226514 2003UX34 had a near Earth flyby on 2nd January 2017, with a miss distance of 19 LD (Lunar Distance), estimated diameter of 400 m and a relative velocity of 20.17 km/s
  • 2008 UL 90 was another notable near Earth flyby with an estimated diameter of 800 m which had a miss distance of 15 Lunar Distances
  • 2016 YJ flew past the Earth on 22nd December 2016, had one of the closest flybys in December with a miss distance of 1.2 Lunar Distances and an estimated diameter of 16 m.

Amongst the important events in the past month, the notables ones were:

  • ESA Ministerial Council meeting held at Luzern, Switzerland in the second week of December approved the Space Situational Awareness programme.
  • June 30th is recognized as International Asteroid Day by the United Nations


The entire PDF can be downloaded  here

About the author: P R