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
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?