Asteroid Passed So Close To Earth It Was Inside The Ring Of Nearby Satellites

Posted: Mar 5 2017, 10:42pm CST | by , Updated: Mar 5 2017, 10:45pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Asteroid Passed So Close to Earth It was Inside the Ring of Nearby Satellites
at an altitude of only 14,500 kilometers (9000 miles) above the eastern Pacific Ocean
 

At its closest point, the asteroid known as 2017 EA was 20 times closer than the Moon

A small asteroid designated 2017 EA flew safely past Earth Thursday morning (March 2) after giving the planet a close shave.

The asteroid passed so close to the Earth that it was well inside the ring of geosynchronous satellites orbiting 22,236 miles above Earth's equator. At its closest approach, the asteroid came 20 times closer than the distance of the moon at an altitude of only 14,500 kilometers above the eastern Pacific Ocean, flying out of the site of the ground-based satellites.

According to NASA, the less than 10 feet wide asteroid was detected just six hours before its closest approach to the Earth and was identified by NASA astronomers at Arizona-based Catalina Sky Survey – the most efficient astronomical program for finding new near Earth asteroids and comets. 

Every year, thousands of cosmic objects hurtle towards the Earth’s orbit but most of them go unnoticed because of their remote distance. 2017 EA is the second asteroid in just two months to zoom past dangerously close to the Earth. On January 9, 2017, an asteroid known as 2017 AG13, flew by our planet at just half the distance from Earth to the moon  after being first spotted by the astronomers just two days earlier. The asteroid was thought to be between 50 and 111 feet wide and was moving at10 miles per second when it swung by Earth.

According to Center for NEO Studies (CNEOS), the asteroid 2017 EA will not approach our planet this close again for at least a hundred years.

 

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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