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 Asteroid Just Buzzed Earth—Came Closer Than the Moon 
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Modmin Dude
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Post Asteroid Just Buzzed Earth—Came Closer Than the Moon
National Geographic wrote:
Asteroid Just Buzzed Earth—Came Closer Than the Moon
Bus-size space rock could have made "decent-size crater" if aimed at us.

Dave Mosher

for National Geographic News

Published June 27, 2011

An asteroid the size of a school bus gave Earth an extremely close shave around 1:14 p.m. ET today.

The rogue object—dubbed asteroid 2011 MD—buzzed by at a distance of 7,500 miles (12,000 kilometers) from our planet's surface, or roughly 30 times closer than the moon.

Researchers with MIT's Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program discovered the asteroid on June 22 and pegged its size between 20 feet (6.3 meters) and 46 feet (14 meters) wide.

Astronomers clocked its top speed at around 63,000 miles (101,000 kilometers) an hour.

Although small by asteroid standards, 2011 MD was close enough for amateur astronomers to spot it with modest telescopes.

If the asteroid had been on a collision course with Earth, the space rock would have been large enough and fast enough that it would have made it to the ground, said MIT planetary scientist Ben Weiss.

"You'd end up with some sort of explosion and a decent-size crater," he said. "You wouldn't have wanted something like this to land in Manhattan."

Future Asteroid Impact Inevitable

About one asteroid around the same size as 2011 MD comes as close to Earth every five to ten years, and one strikes Earth roughly once every 50 years.

(Related: "NASA to Visit Asteroid Predicted to Hit Earth?")

"This was not an extraordinary event in the world of close asteroid approaches," Weiss said.

"We've recently tracked five other objects that came closer, and a small one of these actually fell to Earth."

That was asteroid 2008 TC3, which was about half the size of asteroid 2011 MD.

Astronomers spotted that object in October 2008, about 24 hours before its fiery entry through the atmosphere. Teams were later able to pick up its pieces in the Sudan desert.

"Sooner or later," Weiss said, "a bigger one is going to hit us."

Newfound Asteroid May Be Back

Asteroid 2011 MD is considered an Apollo-type asteroid, because its orbit is very similar to Earth's yet longer in duration and more oval-shaped.

Astronomers expect the space rock to swing by again in the future—perhaps more closely the next time around—but it's tough to know for certain until the asteroid's departure path is measured in detail.

Short of hitting Earth, the closest asteroid flyby ever recorded was made by a space rock called 2011 CQ1. It passed 3,400 miles (5,480 kilometers) above Earth on February 4, 2011.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... e-science/

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June 28th, 2011, 9:39 am
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Post Re: Asteroid Just Buzzed Earth—Came Closer Than the Moon
alright im callin shennanniganns...how did we not hear about this before it came by? I prolly wouldn't been able to spot it as it was daylight but I woulda been out looking!

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June 28th, 2011, 11:01 am
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Post Re: Asteroid Just Buzzed Earth—Came Closer Than the Moon
We did know... there were articles out there.

http://www.google.com/search?q=astroid& ... 30&bih=738

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June 28th, 2011, 11:05 am
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Post Re: Asteroid Just Buzzed Earth—Came Closer Than the Moon
at the same time, do you really want the mass hysteria that would have resulted in spite of all the efforts to calm people down, the hollywood craze of Deep Impact and Armageddon would have stirred some tremendous panic.

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June 28th, 2011, 11:35 am
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Post Re: Asteroid Just Buzzed Earth—Came Closer Than the Moon
It was publisized, no one found it very interesting.

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June 28th, 2011, 11:36 am
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Post Re: Asteroid Just Buzzed Earth—Came Closer Than the Moon
regularjoe12 wrote:
alright im callin shennanniganns...how did we not hear about this before it came by? I prolly wouldn't been able to spot it as it was daylight but I woulda been out looking!


regjoe,

If you use a My Yahoo page as your homepage and have the space news option on it, you would have known about this last week.

The asteroid was only as big as a tour bus. It would have broke apart in our atmosphere. Maybe some pebble size fragments would have landed on the ground.


June 28th, 2011, 12:00 pm
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Post Re: Asteroid Just Buzzed Earth—Came Closer Than the Moon
It was mentioned in Yahoo and on other sites, but the fact is that if the meteor had tried to enter Earth's atmosphere it would have disintegrated before any sizeable part of it actually would have collided. Hence, we would have gotten a "dusting", but no significant impact.

There was actually another meteor that came even closer to us this year, back in February, which is probably another reason this one didn't merit too much publicity.

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June 28th, 2011, 1:07 pm
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Post Re: Asteroid Just Buzzed Earth—Came Closer Than the Moon
well dang im feelin out of the loop! lol I hope I didnt imply a concern about it, it just would have been cool to see. Especially if it entered our atmosphere. Coulda been a cool light show for a moment.

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June 28th, 2011, 5:50 pm
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Post Re: Asteroid Just Buzzed Earth—Came Closer Than the Moon
Do I need to put on my purple Nikes?

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June 28th, 2011, 6:33 pm
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Post Re: Asteroid Just Buzzed Earth—Came Closer Than the Moon
You're too late... you missed the space bus.

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June 28th, 2011, 6:37 pm
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