Images from the flyby of asteroid 2010 AL30

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Remember this post from two days ago? Now we have some images of the flyby, which can be seen here and here. I found this part from the Wired.com article to be a bit funny:

The asteroid, dubbed 2010 AL30 was first spotted and announced Monday. It is the closest encounter Earth will have with any known object until 2024.
...because "any known object" really doesn't mean a great deal - until said Monday we thought that there wouldn't be an encounter that close until 2024 but all of a sudden this asteroid showed up and blew right past us. Considering the large number of asteroids that suddenly show up out of the blue I'm pretty confident that we'll see quite a few pass by at similar distances between now and then.

Barring any sudden appearances of asteroids like these, it looks like the next interesting close approach will be in April with an asteroid called 2005 YU55, which is relatively large (110 - 240 m in diameter) and with a pretty close approach, just 5.3 times the distance from Earth to the Moon. Compare it with the list of other close approaches, most of which involve much smaller asteroids at much greater distances.

Object
Name
Close
Approach
Date
Miss
Distance
(AU)
Miss
Distance
(LD)
Estimated
Diameter*
H
(mag)
Relative
Velocity
(km/s)
(2005 YU55)  2010-Apr-19 0.0135 5.3 110 m - 240 m 22.0 13.17

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