Buzz Alert!

Earth will be buzzed by a small asteroid tonight that will fly just inside the orbit of the Moon. It's orbit is very well understood though, and there is no danger to the planet whatsoever.

The scary thing is that it was just discovered on Thursday! Our friends over at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona gave it the expected name 2009 TM8. The asteroid is tiny - about 30 feet (7 meters) across - and will get within 216,000 miles (348,000 km) of Earth when it zooms by at a speed of around 18,163 mph (29,232 kph). Closest approach will be 03:44 GMT Saturday October 17th 2009, that's 11:44 pm EDT.

So, what would happen if it did hit us then?

Don Yeomans, manager of the Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL, Pasedena says "If it's typical density, it would create a 4 kiloton explosion in the Earth's atmosphere if it were to hit, which of course it won't. You'd expect an object of this size to fly within the orbit of the moon every few days or so. There are about 7 million of these objects in the near-Earth space. Needless to say we have discovered only a small fraction of them. An asteroid this size can hit the Earth once every seven years or so."

Anyone with a telescope, you might wanna keep an eye on the sky for us, please!

Happy Spacing Spacers!

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