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Asteroid '2010 GA6' will safely fly by Earth: NASA

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Orbit of asteroid 2010 GA6. Photo: NASA/JPL

NEW DELHI (PTI): A newly discovered asteroid is set to pass by earth on Friday but experts say it poses no danger to the planet.

The NASA Spaceguard team at the Catalina Sky Survey have recently spotted an asteroid - '2010 GA6' - which will be at its closest point to the earth at 04:36 AM.

However, experts say it does not pose any danger to the planet as at the time of the closest approach, the asteroid will be about 359,000 kms away from the earth.

The asteroid is approximately 17m to 38m wide and with an absolute magnitude of 26, it is not visible to naked eye.

Its velocity relative to earth is approximately 25,338 miles per hour.

NASA's Near Earth Orbit (NEO) programme, also called Spaceguard, discovers objects such as asteroids and comets, characterises a subset of them and plots their orbits to determine if any of them could be potentially hazardous to our planet.

NEOs are comets and asteroids nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the earth's neighbourhood.

Composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles, comets are originally formed in the cold outer planetary system, while most of the rocky asteroids are formed in the warmer inner solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

In November 2009, a seven-meter asteroid called 2009 VA came within 14,000 km of the earth and in January, 2010 AL30, about 10-15 meters long, came as close as 128,000 km.

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