We are always told y the egg heads at NASA that in the event of an asteroid making a “B” line for the planet earth, we would know well enough in advance to mount an effort to try and change the barreling sky rock’s trajectory.
Well… hows about a month…
Astronomers have spotted a 'potentially hazardous' asteroid less than one month before it is due to pass close to Earth.
The object, given the name '2010 ST3', is 150 meters in diameter and will pass within four million miles of Earth in mid-October.
It was discovered using the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) PS1 telescope in images taken on September 16th, when it was about 20 million miles away.
It is the first 'potentially hazardous object' (PHO) to be discovered by the Pan-STARRS survey, using a new telescope designed to scan the skies for dangerous asteroids.
"Although this particular object won't hit Earth in the immediate future, its discovery shows that Pan-STARRS is now the most sensitive system dedicated to discovering potentially dangerous asteroids," said Robert Jedicke, a University of Hawaii member of the PS1 Scientific Consortium, who is working on the asteroid data from the telescope.
"This object was discovered when it was too far away to be detected by other asteroid surveys," Jedicke noted.