Asteroid Flies Past Earth Closer Than Moon

NASA says we were never in danger
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2012 8:22 AM CDT
Asteroid Flies Past Earth Closer Than Moon
An asteroid is seen in this file image from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.   (AP Photo/NASA/JPL, File)

A 150-foot-wide asteroid whizzed stunningly close to Earth yesterday, passing within 143,000 miles of us—a hair more than half the distance from the Earth to the moon. NASA saw the rock coming two weeks ahead of time, and says there was never any danger of it actually hitting us, but had it done so, the impact would have had the force of a nuclear explosion, according to the Daily Mail.

The near miss comes a week after two smaller asteroids passed even closer to the Earth, points out; last week, one bus-sized asteroid came within 96,000 miles, and a smaller, car-sized one came as close as 36,000 miles. But those rocks were so small that they would have burned up in our atmosphere had they actually hit the Earth. (More NASA stories.)

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