But they can sometimes see you…

On Wednesday, September 8, 2010, asteroid 2010 RX30 sailed past Earth at a mere 154,600 miles away.  That’s just over half the distance to the Moon!

The images above were taken at the Mayhill, New Mexico Observatory’s 0.25 meter telescope at 12:45 am by Italian amateur astronomers using the Global Remote Astronomy Telescope Network.  Details at Wired Astronomy.

Whoosh! I thought I felt something brush past me this morning!
(well, drat. The image is supposed to be an animated gif, but for some reason it’s not animating! Go to the Wired Astronomy page to see the asteroid actually moving across the image)

UPDATE: 9/09/2010 1330 hrs PT
A couple of people have asked about the size of the asteroid, so after a bit of Google work, the results are in. 2010 RX30 is 10 to 20 meters across (32 to 65 feet). In comparison, the rock that hit Arizona 50,000 years ago was about 45 meters (150 feet) across.
2010 RF12, an asteroid 6-14 meters (19 to 45 feet) across slipped past us later the same day (5:12 pm EDT) at a mere 49,000 miles. The Goa’uld may be practicing!