Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Two Asteroids Near Earth Today, Both Within Moon's Orbit

At 5:51am EDT this morning an asteroid passed near the planet Earth, where we happen to live. The asteroid, called 2010 RX30, is about 50 feet in size, and came within 154,000 miles of us.

But it's asteroid 2010 RF12 that's passing by our home world at 5:12pm EDT this afternoon that's going to be even closer: a mere 49,088 miles. This afternoon's asteroid is about 30 feet in width.

By way of comparison, the moon is approximately 240,000 miles away.  NASA has a cool interactive, 3D orbit visualization tool that you can use to get a sense of how close these asteroids are. Visit NASA's near earth objects site for more about asteroids.

What kind of damage could these asteroids do if they where to hit the Earth? For that answer, there's a handy online Earth Impact Effects calculator.

These asteroids kind of put sharks found in the Potomac into a different perspective.

1 comment:

  1. I used the Earth Impact Effects calculator for the asteroid you described using extreme or typical variables. It said the effect would be negligible and would hardly even leave a crater if it hit land. Nice scare story anyhow.