On the Pre-impact Orbital Evolution of 2018 LA, Parent Body of the Bright Fireball Observed over Botswana on 2018 June 2
Published 2018-06-13Version 1
On 2018 June 2, meteoroid 2018 LA became the third natural body ever to be observed before entering our atmosphere ---small asteroids 2014 AA and 2008 TC3 had stricken the Earth on 2014 January 2 and 2008 October 7, respectively. Here, we explore the pre-impact orbital evolution of 2018 LA and investigate the possible presence of known NEOs moving in similar orbits using N-body simulations and the D-criteria. We identify several objects moving in orbits similar to that of 2018 LA and focus on three of them: (454100) 2013 BO73, which is the largest of the group and a PHA, 2016 LR, and 2018 BA5, which follows a path very close to that of 2018 LA in terms of semimajor axis, eccentricity, and inclination. All these objects could be part of a dynamical grouping and their orbital evolution is rather chaotic, experiencing close encounters with Venus, the Earth-Moon system, and Mars. NEO encounters take place at the node and, on the short-term, the relative positions of our planet in its orbit around the Sun repeat every year. Besides the bright fireball observed over Botswana on 2018 June 2, three other bolides were observed early in June in recent years: Crete on 2002 June 6, Washington State on 2004 June 3, and Reisadalen on 2007 June 7.