Another tiny rock will pass Earth tomorrow | Bad Astronomy

[tl;dr: A small 5-10 meter asteroid will pass us tomorrow; it poses no danger to us.]

I recently wrote about near-Earth asteroid 2012 KP24, a house-sized (25 meter) rock. As I write this it passed us safely just a few hours ago, as predicted.

But thanks to scibuff and AsteroidWatch on Twitter, I just learned of another tiny visitor that will buzz past us tonight/tomorrow, May 29, at around 07:00 UTC (03:00 Eastern US time). Called 2012 KT42, this one is even smaller than KP24: its probably less than 10 meters across about the size of a school bus or more likely a minivan. And itll be a close shave: though the orbit is still not nailed down, the nominal miss distance is about 14,500 kilometers (8900 miles). Thats a bit bigger than the diameter of the Earth itself.

[UPDATE (19:15 UTC): There's more info on KT42 in on the Italian Remanzacco Observatory blog (h/t TredySas). There's also a cool animation made from five exposures of it:

I'll add more here if I hear anything.]

[UPDATE (19:55 UTC): No new info as such, but Alex Gibbs from the Catalina Sky Survey sent me this nice 4-tile mosaic of the discovery images of KT42, taken with the Mt. Lemmon 60" telescope:

Very cool!]

Bear in mind, it was only discovered last night, so the current orbit is preliminary. Many small rocks that pass close to Earth are discovered shortly before they breeze past us (and some not until after), so this is nothing out-of-the ordinary.

Go here to read the rest:

(1) Another tiny rock will pass Earth tomorrow | Bad Astronomy
URL: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/05/28/another-tiny-rock-will-pass-earth-tomorrow/



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