September 8, 2010, a small asteroid with the designation 2010 RF12 will fly by the Earth. The diameter of the celestial body is estimated to be 7-14 meters. The object was discovered Sept. 5th by the American Mt. Lemmon Sky Survey. The minimum distance from our planet will be 84,000 km., which is a little over twice the distance of the orbit of geostationary satellites.

2010 RF12 belongs to the Aten family. The semi-major axis of the orbits of this family is less than 1 a.u. Practically all Atens have a large eccentricity; for some members of the family, it is larger than 0.9! In connection with this, several asteroids cross the orbit of Mercury and approach within 0.1 a.u. of the Sun. Today at our observatory we acquired position measurements of this cosmic newcomer. You can see its picture on the left.

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