The impact risk for 2011 AG5 has been cleared - The impact risk for 2011 AG5 has been cleared
The orbital path of 2011 AG5 has been carefully analyzed in the past year, due to its 1-in-550 probability to pass, during the moderately close approach to the Earth that will take place in early February 2023, through a 365 km wide keyhole leading to a resonant return with impact on the Earth on 5 February 2040.
As it is customary in these cases, observing opportunities, useful to refine the orbit and possibly remove the collision possibilities, have been looked for; the first of these opportunities has occurred in October 2012, and has been put to good use by a team of the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Hawaii, using the Gemini North telescope.
Given the difficulty of the observations, the analysis of the collected data has taken some time. The astrometry so obtained has been fed to the CLOMON2 impact monitoring robot, and the results have been carefully cross-checked with those of JPL Sentry.
The result is that no impact with the Earth is possible between now and 2100. It is anyway desirable that the next observing opportunities for this object be exploited, so as to further refine our knowledge of its motion and especially of the circumstances of its encounter with the Earth in 2023, when physical observations would be possible. (Source: NEODyS)
Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph image of 2011 AG5. The asteroid is the point at the center of the image -circled. (Image credit: Gemini Observatory)