Second Asteroid to Pass Close to Earth in a Week, Flies by Today
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL. – The second asteroid in a week will be passing close to earth on this Friday afternoon.
The newly discovered space rock will pass within 39,000 miles of the earth. That is less than one-fifth the distance of the moon.
The asteroid is estimated at about 50 feet to 130 feet in size, possibly a little larger than the asteroid that exploded over Russia five years ago this month.
The manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, Paul Chodas, said that most asteroids this size come this close only once or twice a year.
While Friday’s close approach isn’t a huge deal, Chodas reported that “this was a reminder that asteroids this size can pass very close to our planet and it’s important to find these objects when they do get to close.”
It will be the second time this week that an asteroid flies by us because on Tuesday, an asteroid passed the Earth within 114,000 miles, which is about hallway to the moon in distance.
A whopper of an asteroid called Apophis will pass the Earth at just one-tenth the distance between Earth and the moon but not until 2029. The asteroid is approximately 1,000 feet or more than 300 meters across.
In the meantime, astronomers are looking out for asteroids in the far cosmic reaches. “These asteroids are simply too small to be detected until they get really close to our planet,” added Chodas.