Tonight's Sky
Sun
Sun
Moon
Moon
Mercury
Mercury
Venus
Venus
Mars
Mars
Jupiter
Jupiter
Saturn
Saturn

Tonight's Sky — Change location

OR

Searching...

Tonight's Sky — Select location

Tonight's Sky — Enter coordinates

° '
° '

Two asteroids pass by Earth Wednesday

An asteroid designated 2010 RF12 is expected to pass within approximately 49,000 miles of Earth at 5:12 p.m. EDT. Another asteroid, 2010 RX30, passed within approximately 154,000 miles overnight. Neither is a threat to Earth.
Provided by NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Near-Earth asteroids on September 8, 2010
Two small asteroids in unrelated orbits will pass within the Moon's distance of Earth on Wednesday. Both should be observable with moderate-sized amateur telescopes.
NASA/JPL
September 8, 2010
Two asteroids, several meters in diameter and in unrelated orbits, will pass within the Moon's distance of Earth on Wednesday, September 8.

Both asteroids should be observable near closest approach to Earth with moderate-sized amateur telescopes. Neither of these objects has a chance of hitting Earth. A 33-foot-sized (10 meters) near-Earth asteroid from the undiscovered population of about 50 million would be expected to pass almost daily within a lunar distance, and one might strike Earth's atmosphere about every 10 years on average.

The Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona, discovered both objects on the morning of Sunday, September 5, during a routine monitoring of the skies. The Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, first received the observations Sunday morning, determined preliminary orbits and concluded that both objects would pass within the distance of the Moon about 3 days after their discovery.

Near-Earth asteroid 2010 RX30 is estimated to be 32 to 65 feet (10 to 20 meters) in size and passed within 0.6 lunar distances of Earth (about 154,000 miles, or 248,000 kilometers) at 5:51 a.m. EDT Wednesday. The second object, 2010 RF12, estimated to be 20 to 46 feet (6 to 14 meters) in size, will pass within 0.2 lunar distances (about 49,088 miles or 79,000 km) at 5:12 pm EDT. You can check out 2010 RF12's orbit on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Small-Body Database.
0

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Read and share your comments on this article
Comment on this article
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of Astronomy.com are allowed to comment on this article. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
0 comments
ADVERTISEMENT

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
BoxProductcovernov

Click here to receive a FREE e-Guide exclusively from Astronomy magazine.

Find us on Facebook

Loading...