from the secret-escape-plans-ruined dept.
astroengine writes "The ESA's Space Situational Awareness (SSA) program has scored its first hit. Although SSA astronomers have detected asteroids before, this is the first time that a near-Earth object (NEO) has been spotted by the group of volunteers who analyze automated data from the 1-meter ESA Optical Ground Station telescope on Tenerife. Although details are scant, asteroid 2011 SF108's orbit takes it to a closest approach of 30 million kilometers (19 million miles, or roughly 100 times the average Earth-moon distance) from Earth — a distance considered 'safe.'"
"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers."
-- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a
particularly vivid fantasy)