Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Newly Discovered Asteroid To Pass by Earth Tomorrow

A newly spotted 70+ foot wide asteroid will pass the earth tomorrow getting at one point closer to us then the moon is. It is not expected hit us, but it should serve as a stark reminder that their are a lot of surprises still out there. It is good that we spotted it, but a few days notice is likely insufficient time to divert a potentially cataclysmic collision. When it comes to our efforts to map all of the closer earth asteroids; to paraphrase Glenn Reynolds, 'faster, please'.

"Good to know the Spaceguard teams are keeping an eye out for us. The eagle-eyed observers at the Catalina Sky Survey have spotted an asteroid which will pass relatively close to Earth this Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 23:06 U.T.C. (4:06 p.m. PDT, 7:06 pm EDT). But it should pose no problem, as at the time of closest approach asteroid 2010 GA6 will be about 359,000 kilometers (223,000 miles) away from Earth – about 9/10ths the distance from to the moon. The asteroid is approximately 22 meters (71 feet) wide.

"Fly bys of near-Earth objects within the moon's orbit occur every few weeks," said Don Yeomans of NASA's Near-Earth Object Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

This one, however, is a bit bigger than other recent asteroid alerts NASA's Near Earth Observation program has issued. In November 2009, a 7-meter asteroid called 2009 VA came within 14,000 km (8,700 miles) of Earth and in January, 2010 AL30 was about 10-15 meters long and came within only 128,000 km (about 80,000 miles).


  1. I remember when an asteroid came close to the earth and two large earthquakes happened about the same time, one in Turkey and the other was in the San Francisco Area.....

  2. @Pamela.Shryock - I suppose it is possible that the gravitational force from an asteroid could spark an earthquake but it would either have to be a massive asteroid or the fault must have been right on the verge of shifting.


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