A car-size asteroid flies by Earth at 1/30th the distance from the moon

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An asteroid discovered Tuesday (April 9) made an extremely close, but harmless, pass by planet Earth today (April 11).
Asteroid 2024 GJ2 is roughly the size of a car and, since its discovery this week, astronomers calculated that the space rock would graze by Earth at a mere 12-thousand-mile (19.3-thousand-kilometer) distance — that’s just three percent the distance between the Earth and the moon.
2024 GJ2 measures between 2.5 and 5 meters (8.2 and 16 feet), according to the European Space Agency (ESA).
Astronomers believe the asteroid’s closest approach distance to Earth occurred at 2:28:42 p.m. EDT (18:28:42 GMT) on Thursday, at a distance of 7,641 miles (12,298 kilometers).
The next closest flyby of 2024 GJ2 won’t occur until 2093, according to ESA’s near-Earth objects coordination center.
When that happens, the asteroid won’t pass nearly as close as it did today.
GJ2’s 2093 approach is estimated to fly as close as 127,970 miles (205,947 kilometers) to us — 10 times further than today’s flyby, and just over half the distance between Earth and the moon.
NASA has cataloged nearly 35,000 near-Earth asteroids to date, though very few of those pose any threat to the planet.


On Tuesday, April 9, an asteroid was discovered. It passed by Earth today, April 11, very closely but without incident.

The size of an automobile, asteroid 2024 GJ2 is estimated by astronomers to pass close to Earth at a distance of only 12, 000 miles (19, 000 kilometers), or about 3% of the moon’s distance from Earth, following its discovery this week. The European Space Agency (ESA) states that the dimensions of 2024 GJ2 are between 2.5 and 5 meters (8.2 and 16 feet). This indicates that if its orbit had more closely intersected Earth’s, the asteroid would have burned up in the atmosphere.

The asteroid is thought to have approached Earth at its closest point at 2:28:42 p.m. me. At a distance of 7,641 miles (12,298 kilometers), on Thursday, at 18:28:42 EDT (GMT).

See also: Asteroids known as “planet killers” lurk in the sun’s shade. Could we halt them in time?

ESA’s near-Earth objects coordination center estimates that 2024 GJ2 won’t fly by again until 2093. After that, the asteroid will not pass as close as it did today. Ten times farther away than today’s flyby and slightly over half the distance between Earth and the moon, GJ2 is predicted to approach Earth in 2093, flying as close as 127,970 miles (205,947 kilometers).

To date, NASA has identified almost 35,000 near-Earth asteroids; however, very few of them are thought to be dangerous for Earth.

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