Thursday, January 14, 2010

2010 AL30 misses Earth on Wednesday.

A 30-50 foot chunk of space stuff whizzed past the Earth the other day.  Most likely just an asteroid, but there has been some speculation that it could possibly be the booster from the Venus Express mission.  Seems that it's more likely just a rock.
If the thing hit Earth, it probably would have just created a nice fireworks show and possibly broken up in smaller chunks that could have made it all the way down.  Similar to the asteroid that hit the Sudan last year.  Here is a graphic showing the distance it passed relative to the moon and other familiar stuff.  Compare that with the life destroying 99942 Apophis which was originally thought to bring us doom on 4/13/2029, but recently was downgraded to just a passing rock.  (But the world ends in 2012 anyway!)
Here is a animated photo by Patrick Wiggins in Utah (Right).  I"m pretty confident that I could have done this also with our 12" out in back, but the Seattle skies refuse to clear anytime something like this happens.

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