A weird object that left some observers wondering if it was a piece of space junk is most likely just a small asteroid, and will zoom close by Earth Wednesday, NASA scientists say. It may be visible to seasoned amateur astronomers as it passes harmlessly by the planet.
The space rock won’t hit the Earth, but it will make its closest approach at 7:47 a.m. EST (1147 GMT) when it comes within 80,000 miles (130,000 km) of our planet. That’s nearly one-third the distance between the Earth the moon.
Astronomers announced the discovery of the asteroid, which they named 2010 AL30, on Monday. It is relatively small, about 36 feet (11 meters) wide, NASA researchers said.
There was some early speculation that the object was a part of a derelict spacecraft, but NASA scientists have concluded that it is most likely a simple space rock flying near Earth.
"I looked at this object closely yesterday morning and concluded that this object is probably not artificial," said Paul Chodas, a scientist at NASA’s Near-Earth Object Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
What makes 2010 AL30 weird is its orbit, which is almost exactly one Earth year long, leading to some discussion that it might be a man-made spacecraft launched in the recent past.
But Chodas said the asteroid’s trajectory is not the kind used to transfer spacecraft out of Earth’s orbit, nor is the space rock followed by other objects that escaped from Earth or lunar space. The asteroid was also far from Earth during the Apollo lunar missions of the late 1960s and 1970s, when many spacecraft were launched into the space near the moon, Chodas said.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
Need some anonymity to download anything check out Seedbox you can never go wrong with tons of storage with a Seedbox, cheap prices!!. Check out Seedbox.io Now
Tweets by @SportsGeeks
2008-2017 BACKSTAGE RADIO LOUNGE By RWFRACING INC.