Asteroid to make a very close pass by Earth - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Asteroid to make a very close pass by Earth

Artist rendering of a near Earth asteroid Artist rendering of a near Earth asteroid
(WMC) -

On Super Bowl Sunday, an asteroid about a half-mile wide made what is considered to be a close pass by Earth of 2.6 million miles. 

Scientists had been tracking Asteroid 202 AJ129 for about a year and knowing all along that this medium-sized space rock posed no threat to Earth.  

On Friday, March 9, a much smaller asteroid will make a safe but much closer pass. 

Asteroid 2018 CB will come within 39,000 miles of Earth which is one-fifth the distance to the moon. 

This recently discovered asteroid is estimated by NASA to be anywhere from 50 to 120 feet across. 

The rock was spotted Sunday from an observatory in Tucson, Arizona. 

Asteroids this size don't often come this close to Earth but it is not unheard of. 

Just five years ago a slightly smaller asteroid entered Earth's atmosphere in Chelyabinsk, Russia with the force of a nuclear explosion shattering thousands of windows in buildings and injuring 1,500 people.in the area. 

It has been an active week for NASA and near-Earth collision observers as another small asteroid, 2018 CC, passed 114,000 miles from Earth on Tuesday.    

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