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NASA Scientists To Talk About Asteroids Passing Near Earth On Wednesday

September 7, 2010

Two asteroids will pass within the moon’s distance from Earth on Wednesday, Sept. 8. NASA scientists will be available for satellite interviews Tuesday, Sept. 7, and Wednesday morning to discuss these near- Earth objects.

The Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Ariz., discovered both objects on Sunday, Sept. 5. The Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass., reviewed the observations and determined the preliminary orbits. The center’s personnel concluded both objects would pass within the distance of the moon to Earth, approximately 240,000 miles. The asteroids should be visible with moderate-sized amateur telescopes.

Neither asteroid will hit Earth. Asteroid 2010 RX30 is estimated to be approximately 32 to 65 feet in size and will pass within approximately 154,000 miles of Earth at 5:51 a.m. EDT Wednesday. The second object, 2010 RF12, estimated to be 20 to 46 feet in size, will pass within approximately 49,000 miles at 5:12 p.m. EDT.

NASA scientists are available for interviews about the asteroids via NASA Television, Skype or telephone. TV producers can call 818-393-5467 to schedule afternoon interviews and 202-358-1726 to schedule morning interviews. For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov




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