An asteroid is expected to safely fly by Earth today at 4:06 p.m.
The Catalina Sky Survey in Tucson, Ariz. recently discovered the asteroid named 2010 GA6. At its closest approach it will be 223,000 miles away from Earth, about 9/10th the distance to the moon. The asteroid is about 71 feet wide.
“Fly-bys of near-Earth objects within the moon’s orbit occur every few weeks,” said Don Yoemans of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
NASA detects and tracks asteroids and comets passing close to Earth using both ground and space-based telescopes. The Near-Earth Object Observations Program, commonly called “Spaceguard,” discovers these objects, characterizes a subset of them and plots their orbits to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to Earth.
The asteroid will not be close enough for those on Earth to see unless they have a very powerful telescope, said DC Agle, JPL spokesman.
JPL manages the Near-Earth Object Program Office.
By Mary O’KEEFE