Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Close Asteroid Flyby

Hey Space Placers,

By the time you probably read this we will have had a close, and I mean CLOSE, flyby of a 10 meter or so asteroid - a space rock. Named 2010 TD54 this chunk of debris left over from the formation of our solar system 4.5 billion years ago will whiz by between 33,000 and 40,000 miles above our planet at 6:14 a.m. EDT, October 12th.

2010 TD54 was discovered by astronomers just a few days ago while on telescopic sky patrol looking for rocks just like this that could pose an impact threat. Fortunately this asteroid will miss us completely. A 10 meter or 33-foot spacerock would probably survive entry into our atmosphere and make a heck of a fireball in the sky. In all likelihood an object that size would breakup into fragments that would impact the Earth as meteorites. Based on whether this was an iron or stone asteroid would determine how big the surviving fragments would be.... and what kind of damage they would cause. This space rock's fragments could possibly cause some damage to cars, houses or heaven forbid, people if they were hit.

Earth is bombarded every single day with cosmic debris and some of it survives the heat and aerodynamic pressures of Earth's atmosphere. Cars, ships, houses and people have been hit by meteorites. We collectors call these special space rocks "Wammers".

We'll follow up on this story when more is known.

Sky Guy in VA

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