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Earth had a close encounter this morning when Asteroid OK sped by at GMT, at a speed of nearly 55, miles 88, kilometers per hour. The closest it came to Earth was just under 45, miles 72, kma safe distance, but still much less than the distance between the Earth and Moon.

While Earth gets a few asteroid visitors that buzz closer than the Moon every year, this one is the largest so far in NASA considers it their main avenue of planetary defense, and has been charged by Congress to find at least 90 percent of NEOs feet m across and larger.

For reference, the asteroid purported to have killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago was about Asteroid in earth s orbit of moon miles 16 km across, if not larger, while the meteor that flew over Chelyabinsk, Russia in was only 66 feet 20 m across.

So if OK had struck Earth, it could have delivered quite the blow to any city it struck, but would not have been a world-wide event. Experts suggested it would hit with some 30 times the power of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. The large range, between and feet 57 to Victorian vintage anal sex pornoccurs because astronomers can really only measure how bright the object is.

A shinier object could be on the smaller end of the range, while a darker, less shiny target might be on the larger end.

But in this case, the asteroid approached not from the dark of deep space, but from the Sun. But the bigger the asteroid, the harder it is to hide, and NASA is keeping their eyes open. Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter. View our Privacy Policy. Untangle the mysteries of our solar system and its moons with this free download. By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers.

We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. Blast off! Login or Register Customer Service. RISE —. PHASE —. Tonight's Sky — Change location. US Asteroid in earth s orbit of moon, Canadian Asteroid in earth s orbit of moon, or country. Tonight's Sky — Select location. Tonight's Sky — Enter coordinates. UTC Offset:. What if the Moon disappeared tomorrow?

Picture of the Day Image Galleries. Learn about the Moon in a great new book. Dave's Universe Year of Pluto. Groups Why Join? Astronomy Day. Astronomy's Calendar. Astronomers missed the asteroid until it was nearly on top of them, but the space rock has already passed harmlessly by.

An unexpected asteroid named OK just flew between Earth and the Asteroid in earth s orbit of moon, hammering home the need for continued improvements in both finding and tracking potentially hazardous asteroids. Did colliding space rocks change the climate for ancient humans? Astronomers expect to discover many more interstellar objects. Colliding asteroids may have caused an ancient ice age.

Changes in Earth's orbit likely kick-started one of the hottest periods in history. The latest photos of Hayabusa2's mission to asteroid Ryugu. New date for 'Late Heavy Bombardment' may change life's timeline on Earth. When Earth's magnetic field flips, it could take thousands of years. Ancient Mars tsunami hints at surprisingly wet world. Astronomy's Starburst Galaxy: M82 Puzzle.

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