lucy24 - 12:57 am on Feb 19, 2013 (gmt 0)
I'm not sure it's accurate to call this object a meteoroid
Quick detour to assorted .edu sites tells me the English-usage folks are at variance with the astronomy folks.
On the usage side, it's based purely on location:
A chunk of rock out in space is a “meteoroid.” If it plummets down through the earth’s atmosphere, the resulting streak of light is called a “meteor.” And if it lands on the ground, the chunk of stone is called a “meteorite.”
On the other side I found one (from the National Academic Press, which in spite of its name doesn't know how to make pdfs) that put the size range for meteoroids at "1 micron to 10 cm". Harvard otoh begins-- or at least began, back in 1995-- with the "location" aspect* but goes on-- or went on-- to say that the size range is 100 microns (assuming that's what "mu m" means) to 10m. And wustl fills the gap by setting the range at 10 microns to 1m.
:: sigh ::
But at >10m we're beyond all cutoffs. So if only they'd drop a hint what it is when it isn't a meteoroid...
An asteroid that decided it would rather die than spend the rest of its life stuck between Mars and Jupiter? A planetoid that was getting cold in the Kuiper belt but miscalculated when it came time to relocate?
* "One can, for example, 'see' a meteor, but not a meteoroid (unless one were an astronaut who was unlucky enough to have a very close encounter with such a body)."