Small asteroid swings harmlessly past Earth (Update)

June 27th, 2011 in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
Small asteroid swings harmlessly past Earth (AP)
Illustration shows path of asteroid 2011 MD.


Illustration shows path of asteroid 2011 MD.

An asteroid the size of a tour bus has zipped harmlessly past Earth.

The space rock flew 7,600 miles above the Earth's surface. It sailed high above the southern Atlantic Ocean at closest approach.

The asteroid was discovered last week by telescopes in New Mexico. It is between 15 feet and 60 feet wide. Scientists say asteroids this size sail past Earth every six years.

Earlier this year, a smaller came within 3,400 miles of Earth.

More information: NASA's near Earth object program: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/index.html

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"Small asteroid swings harmlessly past Earth (Update)." June 27th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-06-earth-date-asteroid-hours.html