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Two asteroids to fly by Earth closer than the Moon

Posted on Wednesday, September 08 2010 @ 13:12:18 CEST by

Space.com reports two asteroids will zip close by the Earth today. The objects were discovered Sunday by astronomers with the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona, and amateur astronomers may be able to track the asteroids with moderate-sized amateur telescopes.
"Both asteroids should be observable near closest approach to Earth with moderate-sized amateur telescopes," NASA officials said in a statement. "Neither of these objects has a chance of hitting Earth."

The larger of the two space rocks, asteroid 2010 RX30, will fly by Earth first at about 5:51 a.m. EDT (0951 GMT). It is estimated to be about 33 to 65 feet wide (10 to 20 meters) and will pass within 154,000 miles (248,000 km) of the planet. On average, the moon is about roughly 238,900 miles (384,402 km) from Earth.

The second asteroid is relatively small. Called 2010 RF12, it is estimated to be 20 to 46 feet wide (6 to 14 meters) and will pass within 49,000 miles (79,000 km) a few hours later at 5:12 pm EDT (2112 GMT), NASA asteroid trackers have said.



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