The fast asteroid, called NASA Asteroid 2019 JH7, shot over the earth early this morning (Thursday, May 16). According to NASA's asteroid tracking systems, space rock came dangerously close to our Earth at 1.06am BST (12.06am UTC). The incredible news comes only two days after NASA first observed the asteroid on Tuesday, May 14, toward Earth. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said the asteroid had flown past on a so-called "Earth Close Approach" turn.
The asteroid JH7 approached our home planet 0.19 times the distance to the moon.
In other words, the barrel-shaped space rock came to Earth within 71,807 km.
NASA said that this equals 0.00048 astronomical units (AU).
An astronomical unit measures the distance between Earth and the Sun – approximately 93 million miles (149.6 million km).
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Asteroid JH7 is an Apollo type NEO or near-Earth object.
NEOs are all comets and asteroids orbiting the Sun from a maximum distance of 1.3 astronomical units or 120.8 million miles (194.5 million km).
Occasionally NEOs penetrate into the orbit of the sun and swing dangerously close.
NASA said, "While they are orbiting the sun, near-Earth objects may occasionally approach Earth.
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"Note that astronomically, a" narrow "passage can be very far away: millions or even tens of millions of miles."
During the asteroid's flyby, NASA said space rock had reached incredible speeds of about 9,64 km / s (34,704 km / h).
NASA's JPL continues to estimate the asteroid dimensions to be 3.1 m to 6.9 m in diameter.
At the top end of the estimate, the asteroid is about the size of an average giraffe and barely shorter than a London double-decker bus.
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Based on the trajectory of the asteroid JH7, NASA has calculated a series of future fly-bys between now and 2077.
The closest close approaches will be on May 12, 2020 and May 9, 2021.
The space rock then shoots on 4 July 2020 on the burning planet Venus over.
The last expected flyby is expected to take place on May 10, 2077.