02 Apr 2012

An asteroid the size of a passenger jet zipped past Earth on Sunday April 1st.  The space rock did not pose a threat of hitting Earth, though it passed astronomically speaking at a hairs distance from Earth. 

The 150 foot wide (46 meter) Asteroid 2012 EG5 was closer to the moon when it flew by Earth at 5:32 a.m. EDT (0932 GMT) according to NASA.

This flyby was no joke even though it was April 1st.  Yet another example of how close we have come to near miss passes by asteroids.  2012 EG5 was 143,00 miles (230,000 kilometers) away from Earth at closest approach, about half the distance between the Earth and moon's orbit.  The moon is on average about 238,000 miles (382,900 km) from Earth.

Asteroid 2012 EG5 was the third small asteroid to zoom past the Earth in last seven days.  There were two smaller asteroids that passed the Earth on Monday March 26th.  This asteroid was discovered on March 13th by astronomers.  They also discovered asteroid 2012 FA57 which will pass by on April 4th at a range just beyond the orbit of the moon.

The Tech-Stew Take Home

Asteroid 2012 EG5 posed no immediate threat to Earth.  But, as we have mentioned before in our topics and podcasts, asteroid detection and ultimately asteroid deflection techniques should be a top priority.  With a two year turnaround to even do anything about an impending asteroid impact, these rocks that are discovered only days before they fly past Earth, make such work to detect and avoid asteroids even more important.

Source:  Msnbc.com


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