Tuesday at 6:51 a.m. EDT (1051 GMT) a small asteroid dubbed TD54 passed the Earth dangerously close, above a section of Southeast Asia by Singapore, being at its closest 28,000 miles from our blue planet. The asteroid, 2010 TD54 was first discovered on October 9th, by scientists in Arizona at a NASA-sponsored lab. A few days after being spotted, the asteroid collided with another similar asteroid blasting in a spectacle of colored dust and energy equal to a small atom bomb. A low-quality photo of the event can be seen above surprised by a telescope. Scientists are calling the collision “peculiar,” given that “X” shape you can see in the left side of the shot, at the beginning of the trail of debris.
If you found the distance TD54 flew past Earth frightening, know that it was relatively small, sized at a mere 33 feet, enough to be melted away upon atmospheric entry. NASA regularly tracks asteroids and comets that fly near Earth as part of its Near-Earth Object Observations program, which uses a network of ground and space telescopes. The program has tracked 85 percent of the largest asteroids that fly near Earth and 15 percent of asteroids in the 460-foot class, according to the latest report. [via MSNBC]