Apollo meteoroid 2018 LA has become only the third natural object ever to be discovered prior to causing a meteor airburst and just the second one to have its meteorites recovered (at Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve). Here, we use the latest orbit determination of 2018 LA (solution date 18-July-2018) to search for minor bodies moving in paths comparable to that of 2018 LA using the D-criteria, which are metrics to study orbit similarity, and N-body simulations. Our results further confirm the existence of a dynamical grouping of asteroids that might be related to 2018 LA and show that the impactor could be a recent fragment spawned by a larger object, the 550-m wide, potentially hazardous asteroid (454100) 2013 BO73. Spectroscopic observations of 454100 during its next flyby with our planet (brightest at an apparent visual magnitude of 18.4 on 2018 mid-November) may confirm or deny a putative similar chemical composition to that of the recovered meteorites of 2018 LA.
Research Notes of the American Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- July 2018
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- 4 pages, 1 figure. Accepted for publication in Research Notes of the AAS