[meteorite-list] Asteroid 2010 GA6 To Buzz Earth Today

From: Greg Stanley <stanleygregr_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2010 09:14:59 -0700
Message-ID: <SNT117-W2788CC7436E1BEFBFC2074D2160_at_phx.gbl>

I'm sure some are aware of this.

Greg S.


Asteroid 2010 GA6 To Buzz Earth Today

Updated: Thursday, 08 Apr 2010, 11:07 AM EDT
Published : Thursday, 08 Apr 2010, 11:05 AM EDT

(CANVAS STAFF REPORTS) - It's a bird, it's a plane, it's an asteroid. Something out of this world is set to happen on Thursday at 7:06 p.m. ET ? so get your telescopes ready.

According to NASA.com , asteroid 2010 GA6 will be flying close by the earth within the orbit of the moon today.

But the small space rock that is 71 ft. wide poses no risk to the planet since it will be a safe 223,000 miles from Earth ? or nine-tenths of the distance between the Earth and the moon.

"Fly bys of near-Earth objects within the moon's orbit occur every few weeks," Don Yeomans of NASA's Near-Earth Object Office in Pasadena, Ca., said in a statement.

According to Space.com , the latest asteroid was picked up by NASA's new space telescope, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) that has been in use since December.

Dozens of previously unknown asteroids are being found every day with WISE and most of them are small and harmless, but that could all change very quickly.

And asteroid 2010 GA6 was not the first potentially hazardous object astronomers, with the Catalina Sky Survey in Tucson, Az., have detected this year.

In January a smaller space rock, asteroid 2010 AL30, zipped by within 80,000 miles of the Earth and others have swung by at safer distances greater than several hundred thousand miles.

"NASA is aware of this issue and is trying to find as many of these as they can," a planetarium astronomer at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, James Wooten, told KHOU.com . "They hope to find them with enough advance notice."

The one that will float by on Thursday is about the length of two school buses end-to-end, and if one like it was to come dangerously close to Earth, Wooten said "you could perhaps launch something to it that will push it a little bit and change its orbit so it misses Earth."

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Received on Thu 08 Apr 2010 12:14:59 PM PDT

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