NASA Audio File

NASA Scientist Talks to Media About Astroids Passing Close to Earth
During a satellite interview, NASA Scientist, Lindley Johnson, answered question regarding two asteroids passing within the moon's distance from Earth on Wednesday, Sept. 8. 

Neither asteroid will hit Earth. Asteroid 2010 RX30 is estimated to be approximately 32 to 65 feet in size and will pass within approximately 154,000 miles of Earth at 5:51 a.m. EDT Wednesday. The second object, Asteroid 2010 RF12, estimated tobe 20 to 46 feet in size, will pass within approximately 49,000 miles at 5:12 p.m. EDT.

The Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Ariz., discovered both objects on Sunday, Sept. 5.

The Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass., reviewed the observations and determined the preliminary orbits. The center's personnel concluded both objects would pass within the distance of the moon to Earth, approximately 240,000 miles and should be visible with moderate-sized amateur telescopes.

Center Contact:  DC Agle, 818-393-9011
HQ Contact:  Dwayne Brown, 202-358-1726

Lindley Johnson
Program Executive
NASA’s Near-Earth Observations

(:08) We pick these up several times a year, but actually if we had the capability we think we’d probably see these on a daily basis. 
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(:08) These are fairly small objects and they’re quite numerous in the in the inner solar system.  There’s probably tens of millions of them.
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(:9) We just found them on Sunday morning, the 5th.  One of our search teams that is in Arizona picked them up in their morning scan of the sky. 
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(:20) Looking out into the future, the larger objects that we’ve discovered.  We see years in the future that they will pass close as well.  There’s an object called Apophis which is almost 300 meters in size that we predict will come closer than the closest object today in the year 2029.
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