Asteroid Zooms By Earth Six Times Closer Than The Moon

Denisse Moreno
Earth may be extremely vulnerable to an asteroid or comet destined for Earth.
Earth may be extremely vulnerable to an asteroid or comet destined for Earth.

An asteroid the size of a truck zoomed past Earth six times closer than the moon, according to a CNET report.

The object, about 15 to 32.8 feet in length, the made the closest pass-by Earth than any other asteroid since last September.

Asteroids passing near our planet are tricky to spot, especially the smaller ones. That’s what happened with this asteroid, 2017 BH30, discovered Sunday by the University of Arizona's Catalina Sky Survey just hours before passing by Earth at a strikingly-close distance -- about 40,000 miles away. The asteroid was almost as close as satellites in geosynchronous orbit, which help with weather monitoring and forecasting.

This is the third space rock that passes by Earth closer than the moon this year (and we’re just a month in). Earlier this month, an asteroid, dubbed 2017 AG13, zoomed by our planet at half the distance from Earth to the moon, which is 238,900 miles. It was reported to be between 36 and 111 feet wide, bigger than Sunday’s object.

NASA’s Near Earth Object Program has a chart that reveals the object names, approach date, distance, estimated diameter and relative velocity of any potential passing objects. However, not all objects are detected, so keep your eye open for the next close-to-Earth asteroid.

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