Quaint asteroid safely passed Earth

13.01.2010

MOSCOW, Jan. 13 — RIA Novosti. Asteroid 2010 AL30, detection of which two days ago has caused a stir among astronomers because of its unusual orbit, safely past the Earth razminuvshis with her at a distance of 130,000 kilometers.

However, even if he had collided with our planet, the disaster would not have happened, asteroids of this size, about 10-15 meters, almost completely burn up in the atmosphere, scientists say.

"This asteroid is, in any case, is not dangerous, dangerous asteroids — more than 100 meters in diameter. If a metal asteroid, he will fly to the Earth, but not to make much damage. And if iron-stone, it completely falls apart in the atmosphere and will be a nice big car "- said the researcher at the Institute of Applied Mathematics, Keldysh, astronomer Leonid Elenin.

Previously, scientists have noted that the asteroid to Earth may cause an explosion on the other side >>

Asteroid 2010 AL30 was discovered on January 10, with the help of telescopes on the experimental area Lincoln Laboratory (United States, New Mexico). Attracted the attention of scholars is that it moves in its orbit, almost coinciding with the orbit of the Earth. As a result, scientists have hypothesized that this may not be a natural celestial body, and the "forgotten" spacecraft.

According to calculations published at the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union on Monday night, the asteroid on Wednesday, around 12.48 GMT (15.48 MSK) would rendezvous with the Earth far — 128,000 miles, about three times closer to the moon.
 


Photo: Leonid Elenin
Asteroid 2010 AL30

According to Elenin, the calculations were not accurate enough: the asteroid came close to Earth at the shortest distance on Wednesday morning — at 9.45 am MSK.

According to him, in a moment of convergence of asteroid watching one of NASA radar designed to track space objects — Goldstone radar.

"There were detailed data: the rotation period — about nine minutes, is known about the diameter — 10-15 meters, the minimum distance from Earth — about 125,000 kilometers," — said the source.

He pointed out that the hypothesis of artificial origin 2010 AL30, apparently, is not confirmed.

"The period of revolution is equal to the period of revolution of the Earth around the Sun. Strange orbit, first thought it was man-made object, any booster stage, but this was not confirmed because the 15-meter object — it is unlikely," — said Elenin.

The astronomer added that it is processing the echo signal received by Goldstone. Based on its results can be more accurately determine the shape of the object, and thus to understand its nature.

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