Small asteroid swings harmlessly past Earth (Update)

June 27, 2011
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.

Explore further: The next Pluto mission—an orbiter and lander?

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

0 shares

Related Stories

Team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

April 25, 2017

From the earliest days of our solar system's history, collisions between astronomical objects have shaped the planets and changed the course of their evolution. Studying the early bombardment history of Mars, scientists at ...

Asteroid to fly safely past Earth on April 19

April 7, 2017

A relatively large near-Earth asteroid discovered nearly three years ago will fly safely past Earth on April 19 at a distance of about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers), or about 4.6 times the distance from Earth ...

Close call: When asteroids whisk past Earth

April 19, 2017

A peanut-shaped asteroid 1.3 kilometres (3,280 feet) across streaked past Earth on Wednesday, giving astronomers a rare chance to check out a big space rock up close.

Recommended for you

Discovered: Fast-growing galaxies from early universe

May 24, 2017

A team of astronomers including Carnegie's Eduardo Bañados and led by Roberto Decarli of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy has discovered a new kind of galaxy which, although extremely old—formed less than a billion ...

5 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Cave_Man
1 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2011
If the other asteroid they are talking about is 99942 Apophis then someone needs a brain scan cuz that rock is much larger than this one at ~1k ft diameter.
JonnyMcA
5 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2011
If the other asteroid they are talking about is 99942 Apophis then someone needs a brain scan cuz that rock is much larger than this one at ~1k ft diameter.


They are referring to asteroid 2011 CQ1 which was bout 1-2 metres in size, and swung past the earth on the 4th February 2011.
Shootist
1 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2011
They refer to neither.
SteWe
1 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2011
From the link given:

June 23, 2011
Small Asteroid to Whip Past Earth on June 27, 2011

Near-Earth asteroid 2011 MD will pass ...
JonnyMcA
5 / 5 (2) Jun 28, 2011
@ shootist and @SteWe

To clarify, Cave_Man was asking which asteroid they were referring to in the article when they stated "Earlier this year, a smaller space rock came within 3,400 miles of Earth."

Asteroid 2011 CQ1 passed by the earth at 3,400 miles of the earth on the 4th February 2011. This was about 1 or 2 metres in size.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.