This asteroid holds the top hit spot on the Sentry List (Earth Impact Monitoring system), and the highest spot on the European Space Agency (ESA) impact risk list. It has the highest chance of impacting the earth at 5%. In 2022 the rock of space will make a pass of earth, that will allow us to refine the predictions. Because these asteroids are so small, they are very difficult to detect with earth-based telescopes and detectors. Therefore they spend months or years out of sight, only to appear at the last moment. If we are lucky the asteroid makes a close approach to earth when both orbits (the asteroid's and earth's) align, so that we can do a period of measurements that allow us to chart the asteroid's track with precision.
Where is Asteroid 2010RF12 now?
Currently 2010RF12 is 247,045,941 (165,045,941) from earth, racing through the solar system at 79,847 (49,904). It is 19,324,670 (12,007,793) from the spot where it will rendezvous from earth in 2022. It is getting 27.5 (17.2) closer to earth every second.
Since midnight last night it got 531,068 km (331,917 mi) closer Since you started looking at this page it got 0 km (0 mi) closer
Will it hit or miss Earth?
The danger period comes in 2095, when the asteroid will pass very close to earth according to the current calculations. It's predicted to come as much as 40 times closer than the moon, at a distance less that the earth's diameter. Different models come at a distance of 8,000-15,000 km.
The asteroid weights 500 tonnes and is about 7 metres in diameter. The impact will be slightly less intense than the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor that caused an air-explosion of 30 times the Hiroshoma atomic bomb damaging thousands of buildings and injuring hundreds of people. 2010RF12 is about half the diameter of the Russian incident. The speed at impact will be an impressive 12.26km/s according to the models.
All telescopes on earth will be aimed at 2010RF22, on August 13th, 2022 to get precise tracking of this dangerous piece of space material.
Photo Credit and other: NASA, ESO/S. Brunier