An asteroid about the size of a city bus buzzed by Earth earlier today (May 3, 2014). The asteroid came closer to the Earth than the moon, but fortunately did no damage.
Asteroids flying by Earth is not totally uncommon, in fact it actually happens quite a bit. The combination of the distance from Earth and the size of the asteroid are what made this asteroid such a potential threat.
According to NASA’s Asteroid Watch project based at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif…
“The asteroid is about 25 feet (7.6 meters) wide… It made its closest approach to Earth at 4:13 a.m. EDT”
It is hard to tell exactly what the damage would have been from a collision with an asteroid about this size. Here at The Higher Learning we have covered many posts that are asteroid related, from posts about asteroid mining to posts about the threat of asteroid collisions to earth.
Fortunately in this case no collision took place, so no damage was done. According to Space.com…
“The newly discovered asteroid 2014 HL129 came within 186,000 miles (299,338 kilometers) of Earth when it made its closest approach on Saturday morning, which is close enough to pass between the planet and the orbit of the moon. The average distance between the Earth and moon is about 238,855 miles (384,400 km).”
The asteroid has been named Asteroid 2014 HL129 and was discovered by scientists only days before its close encounter to Earth. According to Space.com…
“Saturday’s close shave by asteroid 2014 HL129 came just days after its discovery on Wednesday, April 28, by astronomers with the Mt. Lemmon Survey team, according to an alert by the Minor Planet Center, an arm of the International Astronomical Union that chronicles asteroid discoveries. The Mt. Lemmon Survey team scans the night sky with a telescope at the Steward Observatory atop Mt. Lemmon in Arizona’s Catalina Mountains.”
NASA scientists and researchers around the world are constantly monitoring the skies for potentially dangerous or threatening asteroids. Space agencies around the world are united with the common goal of locating these threatening asteroids and providing solutions to protect Earth and mankind from dangerous collisions.
Check Out the full story from Space.com here.