Is that asteroid coming straight for us?

October 12, 2010 | By | Add a Comment
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I have been following a very slow conversation on the Minor Planet Email list for the last couple of days about the recently discovered asteroid 2010 TD54. Essentially, the conversation boiled down to “…it’s getting brighter, but it’s not moving in the sky?”. The most logical reason for the fact that the asteroid wasn’t showing significant movement in the sky was that it really is heading for the Earth (like how the headlights of a car get brighter at night when the car is heading straight for you!).

A newly discovered asteroid will fly past Earth Wednesday Australian time. The asteroid, 2010 TD54, will make its closest approach to Earth at 8.50pm AEST tomorrow night. Image credit: NASA/JPL

It turns out that 2010 TD54 (a small 7m diameter chunk of rock) is heading for us on Wednesday 12 October 2010 BUT will miss by 46,000km (closest approach will be at 8.50 pm AEST). That’s close enough to remind us that there are rocks out there with our names on them (so to speak..). Hopefully we won’t go the way of the dinosaurs!

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