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Small asteroid to fly past Earth Tuesday: JPL

10-12-2010 09:32 BJT

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- A small asteroid will fly past Earth early Tuesday within the Earth-Moon system, but with no probability of impacting Earth, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory ( JPL) said on Monday.

The asteroid, 2010 TD54, will have its closest approach to Earth's surface at an altitude of about 45,000 kilometers at 6:50 a.m. EDT, according to the JPL.

At that time, the asteroid will be over southeastern Asia in the vicinity of Singapore, the JPL said.

During its flyby, the asteroid has zero probability of impacting Earth, the JPL stressed

A telescope of the NASA-sponsored Catalina Sky Survey north of Tucson, Arizona discovered 2010 TD54 on Oct. 9 during routine monitoring of the skies.

Asteroid 2010 TD54 is estimated to be about five to 10 meters wide. Due to its small size, the asteroid would require a telescope of moderate size to be viewed, according to the JPL, headquartered in Pasadena, California.

A five-meter-sized near-Earth asteroid from the undiscovered population of about 30 million would be expected to pass daily within a lunar distance, and one might strike Earth's atmosphere about every two years on average, the JPL said.

If an asteroid of the size of 2010 TD54 were to enter Earth's atmosphere, it would be expected to burn up high in the atmosphere and cause no damage to Earth's surface, the JPL said.

The distance stated for Asteroid 2010 TD54 is 52,000 kilometers.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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