Feeds

Mini-asteroid sneaks up on Earth

Lunchtime flyby for diminutive rock

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A diminutive asteroid will today pass within 76,000 miles (122,000 km) of Earth at 12:46 GMT, although NASA has confirmed Bruce Willis's services will not be required.

Path of asteroid 2010 AL30. Graphic: NASA/JPL

The body - dubbed 2010 AL30 - was discovered by the LINEAR survey of MIT's Lincoln Laboratories on 10 January. Since its orbital period is "nearly identical to the Earth's one year period", there have been suggestions it may be a rocket stage orbiting the Sun.

However, NASA explains that its orbit "reaches the orbit of Venus at its closest point to the sun and nearly out to the orbit of Mars at its furthest point, crossing the Earth's orbit at a very steep angle".

Furthermore, "trajectory extrapolations show that this object cannot be associated with any recent launch and it has not made any close approaches to the Earth since well before the Space Age began". Accordingly, it's "very unlikely" that the object is man-made, and it's probably a near-Earth asteroid roughly "10-15 meters in size".

Even if 2010 AL30 were on a collision course with our planet, it would be incapable of disrupting Earthlings' lunchtime plans, since "stony asteroids under 25 meters in diameter would be expected to burn up in our atmosphere", NASA concludes. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.