2010 RF12

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2010 RF12
Discovered by Mount Lemmon Survey (G96)
Discovery date September 5, 2010
MPC designation 2010 RF12
Minor planet category Apollo NEO[2]
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch 2014-May-23
Aphelion 1.26 AU (Q)
Perihelion 0.8609 AU (q)
Semi-major axis 1.060 AU (a)
Eccentricity 0.1882
Orbital period 1.09 yr
Mean anomaly 76.41° (M)
Inclination 0.8823°
Longitude of ascending node 163.8°
Argument of perihelion 267.58°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions ~7 meters (23 ft)[3]
6–14 m (20–46 ft)
Mass 5×105 kg (assumed)[3]
Apparent magnitude 12–45
Absolute magnitude (H) 28.1[2]

2010 RF12 is a near-Earth asteroid that passed between the Earth and the Moon on September 8, 2010 at 21:12 UTC, approaching Earth within 79000kilometres above Antarctica.[4]

NASA's Near Earth Program estimates its size to be 7 metres in diameter with a mass of around 500 tonnes.[3] 2010 RF12 will make many more close approaches, with the approach of September 5−6, 2095 having a 6% chance (1 in 16) of colliding with Earth.[3][5] The nominal JPL Earth approach in 2095 is 0.000058 AU (8,700 km; 5,400 mi)[2] with Earth having a radius of approximately 6,400 km. Due to the asteroid's relatively small size there is little danger of harm arising from such an impact, rather there would be an impressive fireball as the rock airburst in the upper atmosphere.[6] The power of the airburst would be somewhere between the Sutter's Mill meteorite and the Chelyabinsk meteor. The nominal NEODyS orbit shows that the asteroid will pass 0.0001 AU (15,000 km; 9,300 mi) from Earth on September 6, 2095, with an apparent magnitude of ~12.[7]

The asteroid was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona on September 5, 2010 along with 2010 RX30.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "MPEC 2010-R41 : 2010 RF12". IAU Minor Planet Center. 2010-09-05. Retrieved 2014-04-17.  (K10R12F)
  2. ^ a b c d e "JPL Close-Approach Data: (2010 RF12)". 2010-09-08 last obs (arc=3 days). Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Earth Impact Risk Summary: 2010 RF12". NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office. Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  4. ^ Harvard scientists keep an eye on wayward asteroids
  5. ^ "Impactor Table: 2010RF12". NEODyS-2. Retrieved 2014-04-16.  (1 in 12)
  6. ^ How a Near-Earth Object Impact Might Affect Society, 9 January 2003, Clark R. Chapman, SwRI, Boulder CO USA
  7. ^ "2010RF12 Ephemerides for 5−6 September 2095". NEODyS (Near Earth Objects – Dynamic Site). Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  8. ^ Second Asteroid to Buzz Earth Later Today