The Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) 2010 GU21 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on April 5 2010 (MPEC 2010-G55) and has been designated as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) by the Minor Planet Center. The asteroid will pass within approximately 8 lunar distances on May 05.25 2010 UT… But why wait when we have Joe Brimacombe on our side?
2010 GU21 is photometrically surmised to be a X-type asteroid and very low-albedo… so dim, in fact, that it only manages about a magnitude 18. However, if you give Joe a magnitude 18 blip, he’ll send you back an image! Just watch how fast this crazy little thing travels….
And for heaven’s sake, don’t take the impact seriously! While eight moon distances (roughly two million miles) is darn close in astronomical terms, we’re quite safe when it comes to physical distance. But, with only a couple of million miles separating us, this would be a great time for radar targeting and studying (NEA) 2010 GU21’s rotation period. What’s more, it’s also on the list for the Delta-v for spacecraft rendezvous with all known near-Earth asteroids.
In the meantime, with only two days until 2010 GU21’s closest approach, you’d best keep up your car payments and still plan on keeping those weekend promises. It’s fun to surmise what might what might happen if it were a wee bit closer…
Or is it?
Many thanks to Joe Brimacombe for sharing his awesome video with us!