Back-to-back asteroids zip between Earth and Moon

May 30. 2012SPACE - Two small asteroids zipped close by Earth in back-to-back flybys of the planet Monday and Tuesday. While both space rocks came well within the moon’s orbit, they posed no danger to our planet, NASA scientists say. The newfound asteroid 2012 KP24 zoomed by Earth Monday, coming within 32,000 miles (51,000 kilometers) on its closest approach, according to astronomers at NASA’s Asteroid Watch at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “We’ll have a close but very safe pass of asteroid 2012 KP24 May 28,” scientists with NASA’s Asteroid Watch program assured via Twitter. Asteroid Watch is part of the Near-Earth Object Office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The NEO office oversees the agency’s efforts to detect, track and characterize potentially dangerous asteroids or comets that could zoom close to Earth. The recently discovered asteroid 2012 KP24 measures about 69 feet (21 meters) across and did not pose any threat to Earth during its flyby, NASA scientists said. But this space rock is not the only one that paid a close visit to our planet this week. Another small asteroid, called 2012 KT42, flew past Earth early Tuesday. The asteroid came within 8,950 miles (14,400 km) on its closest approach, which easily fits between the Earth and moon’s orbit. For comparison, the moon typically circles Earth at a distance of about 240,000 miles (386,000 km). While asteroid 2012 KT42 was only discovered yesterday, the space rock did not pose any impact threat Earth when it made its closest approach at 3:07 a.m. EDT, NASA scientists said. The small space rock is only about 16 feet (5 m) wide, which means it would not pack much of a punch even if it did hit the planet, according to astronomer Tony Phillips on his website Spaceweather.com, which monitors major space weather and skywatching events. -MSNBC
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This entry was posted in 2012, Dark Ages, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Fireballs, Meteor or Asteroid, Solar Event, Space Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Back-to-back asteroids zip between Earth and Moon

  1. The Wiseman says:

    “The small space rock is only about 16 feet (5 m) wide, which means it would not pack much of a punch even if it did hit the planet, according to astronomer Tony Phillips …”

    Unless, of course, you are standing beneath it when it lands. I’m disturbed that these high-speed incoming objects are not being spotted before it is too late to move out of “ground zero”.

    • Garth Colin Whelan says:

      The majority of rocks that size would still disintegrate, crumble and dissolve before reaching the ground. The only reason satellites reach the ground is because of the special heat resistant metals used in their construction. It would be a spectacular fireball though….

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