Amateur Astronomers Discovered Near Earth Asteroid 2011 SF108

A team of amateur astronomers has discovered a previously unknown asteroid in orbit that brings it near the Earth. They can spotted the asteroid, which is known as 2011 SF108, in September by using a telescope in the Canary Islands. While 2011 SF108’s orbit appears to bring it no closer to Earth than about 18 million miles (30 million kilometers), it still qualifies as a near-Earth object the class of space rocks that could pose a danger to our planet. The telescope observed for four nights, running automated asteroid surveys using software developed by amateur astronomer and computer scientist Matthias Busch from the Starkenburg Amateur Observatory in Heppenheim, Germany. 

According to researchers while 2011 SF108 appears not to pose much risk to Earth for the foreseeable future, further observations could help refine its orbit and assessment of just how dangerous it might be.