Amateur astronomer Patrick Wiggins from Utah captured impressive images of asteroid 2010 TD54 that passed the Earth with just 46,000 kilometres to spare on Tuesday.

The asteroid, estimated to be around seven metres in diameter, was discovered on 9 October by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona as part of routine monitoring of the skies
Patrick Wiggins captured the asteroid's pass using a 35cm Celestron C-14 operating at f/5.5 and SBIG ST-10 CCD, binned at 3x3 with a clear filter. The movie shown here comprises 16 five second exposures shot between 08:51:51 and 08:54:04 UTC on 12 October, with the telescope mount set to sidereal rate.

Observations carried out by Richard Miles using the Faulkes Telescope North on 11 October placed estimates of the asteroid's spin rate at a staggering 82 seconds, earning it a place in the top ten fastest rotating asteroids known.

The asteroid posed no threat to the Earth – an asteroid of this size on a collision course with our planet would have burned up in our atmosphere, with some fragments falling to the ground as meteorites.

Post a Comment

The Cosmos News Astronomy&Space Videos