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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Killer African Asteroids

Asteroid 1193 Africa and other asteroids are studied by astronomers who want to understand how to protect earth, the history and inner workings of the solar system. Asteroid 1193 Africa is 11.4 miles or 18.4 km unknown class discovered by an U.K. Astronomer, Cyril Jackson who named many of his 72 discovered asteroids after cities, people and tribes of Africa.

Studying earth’s geological past is important to understanding the development of the planets. Asteroid 1193 Africa is a main belt asteroid. What is a main belt asteroid? Main belt asteroids are small rocky bodies largely in orbit between Jupiter and Mars that are too small to be called planets. It is estimated that there are around 100,000 to 1 million undiscovered asteroids on similar Earth crossing orbits.

Asteroid 1931 HB later named 1193 Africa is a main belt asteroid
Asteroid 1931 HB later named
1193 Africa is a main belt asteroid 
Asteroid 1931 HB later named 1193 Africa is a main belt asteroid discovered by an U.K. astronomer, Cyril V. Jackson at the Union Observatory in Johannesburg South Africa on April 24, 1931. Jackson discovered 72 asteroids and 3 comets. Jackson was an expert Astronomer who named Asteroid 1193 after Africa, the world’s 2nd largest continent and his base of discovery operations.

Asteroid 1193 Africa is of an unknown class measuring around 11.4 miles or 18.4 km in size. Asteroids vary in size; the smallest are the size of small pebbles.  Asteroids can reach as large as Ceres, which is around 600 miles or 940 km in size. Asteroid 1193 Africa is larger than a pebble but much smaller than the dwarf planet of Ceres.

An Astronomical Unit is the unit of measure or AU used to describe solar system distances, 1193 Africa is located at an average distance from the sun of 2,646 AU taking 1,572 days to complete one orbit around the sun. Asteroid 1193 Africa is made of rock and metal, and may contain organic compounds but for now it remains an unknown class. 

Asteroid Africa 1193 is not classified by NASA as a Near-Earth Objects or NEOs since NEOs are classified as such when its trajectory brings it within 1.3 AU near the earth. Asteroid Africa 1193 is not part of nearly 4,000 asteroids large enough to destroy all life on earth. However, in the South African town of Vredefort Dome the remains of Earth's largest and oldest impact crater from an asteroid can be found.

Did you know?

One Astronomical Unit =92,955,807 miles or 149,597,871 kilometers. Want to observe asteroid 1193 Africa, NASA provides the coordinates for your neck of the universe. 

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