Asteroid 2010 TD54 paid Earth a visit today
A newly discovered asteroid named 2010TD54, paid Earth a visit today as it took a trek between us and the moon.
Amateur astronomer Patrick Wiggins photographed the flyby early this morning using a 14-inch Celestron telescope.
According to the NASA website: “The asteroid, 2010 TD54, will have its closest approach to Earth’s surface at an altitude of about 27,960 miles at 6:50 EDT a.m. (3:50 a.m. PDT). At that time, the asteroid will be over southeastern Asia in the vicinity of Singapore. During its flyby, Asteroid 2010 TD54 has zero probability of impacting Earth. A telescope of the NASA-sponsored Catalina Sky Survey north of Tucson, Arizona discovered 2010 TD54 on Oct. 9 at (12:55 a.m. PDT) during routine monitoring of the skies.”
The asteroid was only discovered a few days ago on Oct 9th because of it’s small size. 2010 TD54 is estimated to be about 16 to 33 feet wide. Ironically, I had a girlfriend that was close to that size once and I also considered her to be “out in space”.
Unfortunately the asteroid will not be visible with the naked eye unlike my ex. To view the asteroid would require one to own a telescope of moderate size. If you are lucky enough to own a telescope this ephemeris provided by Harvard.edu and Spaceweather.com will come in handy.
According to NASA: “A five-meter-sized near-Earth asteroid from the undiscovered population of about 30 million would be expected to pass daily within a lunar distance, and one might strike Earth’s atmosphere about every 2 years on average. If an asteroid of the size of 2010 TD54 were to enter Earth’s atmosphere, it would be expected to burn up high in the atmosphere and cause no damage to Earth’s surface.”
Many thanks to Patrick Wiggins, NASA, Harvard.edu and Spaceweather.com
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