Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Small Asteroid FlyBy: 2010 TD54

The small asteroid 2010 TD54 passed at about 45,500 kilometers above the Earth on October 12, 2010. The asteroid was discovered on October 09, 2010 by one of the telescope of the Catalina Sky Survey.

According to NASA JPL website, this small object is estimated to be about 5 to 10 meters wide. 2010 TD54 has zero probability of impacting Earth. Anyway objects of these size are expected to burn up high in the atmosphere and cause no damage to Earth's surface.

We have been able to follow-up 2010 TD54 few hours before its closest approach, on October 12 at 07:00UT (01:00am local time) through the GRAS network, using a scope located in Mayhill (NM). Below you can see our animation composed of 3 unfiltered exposures, 120-seconds each obtained by means of a 0.25-m, f/3.4 reflector + CCD:

Click below for a bigger version:

Below you can see a single 120-second exposure showing the asteroid as a trail among the field stars:

When we shoot our image this rock was speeding at about 220"/min, shining at about magnitude 15.6

By Ernesto Guido & Giovanni Sostero

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