What makes this near-Earth object (NEO) special is that it has an orbital period of almost exactly one year. This fact led some scientists to speculate that 2010 AL30 could be a manmade object and not an asteroid. After all, there's a lot of space junk up there, there's every possibility that it could be a spent rocket booster or some other chunk from a spacecraft.
But it appears to be just be coincidence that the NEO has the same orbital period as Earth.
Andrea Boattini of the Catalina Sky Survey made the interesting point that 2010 AL30 is a great example of how much of a warning we'd have for an object of this size that's headed for Earth. After all, the discovery was only announced on Jan. 11, two days before its Earth encounter.
It is worth noting that even if 2010 AL30 did hit Earth, it would most likely explode high in the atmosphere (with the energy of a small nuclear bomb), posing little danger to anyone on the ground. Impacts of this size happen every year.
The discovery of this 10-meter-wide object is testament to the increasing capabilities of the international community of asteroid hunters. When 2010 AL30 does make its closest approach on Jan. 13, they can take a more detailed look at the small visitor, verifying whether it is indeed an asteroid or a manmade object. However, it would appear that the consensus is that it's a natural inhabitant of our solar system, passing safely through our neighborhood, providing asteroid hunters with an interesting target to study.