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2001 VB's orbit is poorly known but has a two-in-a-billion risk of a collision with the earth in 2023.

Assuming that it were on a collision course, when would it be likely to be reacquired? Which telescopes would be most likely to do this? Would the likely reacquisition date change significantly if it is not on a collision course?

https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/sentry/details.html#?des=2001%20VB

https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi?find_body=1&body_group=sb&sstr=2001%20VB

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    $\begingroup$ Something is weird and doesn't add up with this. The HORIZONS predictions for 2023 July have it over 3 AU away from the Earth and super faint but the close approach shows a <1 Earth radius passage. If the HORIZONS ephemeris is right, the earliest this would be picked up is by a NEO survey in early 2024 $\endgroup$ Jun 22, 2021 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/tools/sbdb_lookup.html#/?sstr=2001%20VB has a solution date of 2021-Apr-14, but it's still only using the observation data from Nov 2001. But I guess Horizons may be able to give a more accurate trajectory using the improved precision in DE441. $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    May 1, 2023 at 13:28

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The remote chance of an Earth impact in late July 2023 may depend on hitting a small "keyhole" near Venus on 2002-01-09. NEODyS gives an 8% chance that 2001 VB even passed within 0.1 au of Venus then.

Elsewhere in the cloud of possibilities are:

  • a miss by 0.17 au in mid July 2023 (MPC)
  • a miss by 0.70 au in late April 2024 (HORIZONS)
  • a miss by 0.49 au in late June 2024 (NEODyS)

In any case, this object should be bright enough to recover 2 or 3 months before closest approach to Earth. The major near-Earth asteroid search programs currently detect objects at apparent magnitude 21 or 22.

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According to the Sentry Risk list, it was removed in 2021. Must not be possible anymore.

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  • $\begingroup$ See cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/sentry/intro.html for info on how impact risk is determined, including the new algorithm which was introduced in 2021. $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Jun 8, 2023 at 14:47
  • $\begingroup$ That was the overwhelming probability, thankfully :) $\endgroup$
    – Dragon
    Jun 21, 2023 at 23:40
  • $\begingroup$ 22 July 2021, according to cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/sentry/removed.html . So turns out my answer was "next month"... $\endgroup$
    – Dragon
    Jun 22, 2023 at 0:32

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