January 13 – Discovery of Asteroid 1999 AN10

Asteroid 137108, also known as 1999 AN10 was discovered on January 13th 1999 by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) project run by the USAF, NASA and MIT to discover and track near-Earth asteroids (NEAs).

On August 7th 2027, which is sooner than you think, it will zip past the earth at less than 250,ooo miles (that’s closer then the Moon) and should be visible in fairly modest binoculars.

1999 AN10 is part of the group known as the Apollo asteroids. These are a particularly interesting group for astronomers because they all have orbits which cross that of the Earth, making some of them potentially hazardous. The Apollos are named, as usual, after the first of their number to be discovered, 1862 Apollo, found in 1932 by Karl Reinmuth. The Chelyabinsk meteor that we all saw streaking across the Russian sky in February 2013 on dashcam footage is believed to have been an Apollo.

1901 – Discovery of asteroid 465 Alekto by Max Wolf. Alecto was one of the Furies of Greek mythology.

2003 – Launch of the Cosmic Hot Interstellar Spectrometer (CHIPS).

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