- Press Release
- Oct 31, 2023
Additional Information on Asteroid 2000 SG344
On the afternoon of November 3, Carl Hergenrother of the Catalina Sky
Survey (CSS) near Tucson, Arizona, obtained and made available additional
observations of object 2000 SG344 from the CSS image archives. These
pre-discovery observations significantly improved the certainty of the
object’s position in 2030 and effectively ruled out the chance of an
Earth impact in that year. As explained in the earlier release from
the International Astronomical Union (IAU), this was the most likely
outcome of the continuing investigations. With the new data, we can
say that the closest the object can approach the Earth in 2030 is 11
lunar distances on September 23. These results are in agreement with
those of Andrea Milani at the University of Pisa, Italy.
While the new orbital calculations have ruled out the 2030 event, they
have also increased the likelihood of encounters in years after 2030.
Studies of those, and of the possibility that this object is a
spacecraft booster rocket from the Apollo era, are continuing.
Additional observations of the object will be possible in the coming
months and these should further refine the calculations and conclusions.