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TOPIC: Asteroid 2010 AL30


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RE: Asteroid 2010 AL30
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The asteroid came within (Minimum Distance) 0.002516 AU, at 11:48 UT, 12th January 1929.

2010al301929.gif

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Asteroid 2010 AL30 has passed the Earth.

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The Goldstone NEA Radar telescope has detected good radar echoes from the asteroid, and confirmed the size, and a rotational period of about 9 minutes.
This rotational period may indicate that the asteroid is likely rocky.


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Astronomers will tonight get their best look at a "mystery object" orbiting the Earth just a third of the distance out to the moon.
Named 2010 AL30, the object will pass within 130,000km of the Earth at 12:48 GMT (22:48 AEDT).

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Orbital path of Asteroid 2010 AL30 on 12/13 January, 2010

pah2010al30.gif
Source NASA

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Asteroid 2010 AL30, discovered by the LINEAR survey of MIT's Lincoln Laboratories on Jan. 10, will make a close approach to the Earth's surface to within 76,000 miles on Wednesday January 13 at 12:46 pm Greenwich time (7:46 EST, 4:46 PST). Because its orbital period is nearly identical to the Earth's one year period, some have suggested it may be a manmade rocket stage in orbit about the Sun. However, this object's orbit, reaches the orbit of Venus at its closest point to the Sun and nearly out to the orbit of Mars at its furthest point, crossing the Earth's orbit at a very steep angle, and this actually makes it very unlikely that 2010 AL30 is a rocket stage. Furthermore, our trajectory extrapolations show that this object cannot be associated with any recent launch and it has not made any close approaches to the Earth since well before the Space Age began.

It seems more likely that this is a near-Earth asteroid about 10-15 meters across, one of approximately 2 million such objects in near-Earth space. One would expect a near-Earth asteroid of this size to pass within the moon's distance about once every week on average.

To take advantage of this close approach, there are plans to observe it with the Goldstone planetary radar on Wednesday evening, Jan. 12 beginning at 6:20 PST. The radar data could dramatically improve the object's orbit and provide additional information on its size and shape.

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Orbital elements:
2010 AL30 Earth MOID = 0.0000 AU
Epoch 2010 Jan. 4.0 TT = JDT 2455200.5 MPC
M 281.43768 (2000.0) P Q
n 0.98334316 Peri. 104.60262 -0.78961396 +0.61037025
a 1.0015347 Node 113.05293 -0.58600666 -0.71972363
e 0.3058516 Incl. 3.92050 -0.18195053 -0.33082632
P 1.00 H 27.1 G 0.15 U 5

MPEC 2010 - A65


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