DID YOU REALIZE THAT A Giant asteroid zips past Earth in 'scary' shave
A gigantic asteroid classified as "potentially hazardous" hurtled safely past Earth on Thursday night, zipping by well outside of the moon's orbit but nonetheless thrilling amateur stargazers.
The space rock, dubbed asteroid 2012 LZ1, was described by astronomers as being about 502 metres in width — roughly the size of a city block. As predicted, the flyby was about 5.3 million kilometres from Earth — equivalent to about 14 times the distance between the Earth and the moon.
But from home computer screens, where the public was able to watch a live feed of the celestial event, LZ1 appeared more like an oblong white dot rocketing past a backdrop speckled with stars.
A powerful telescope called the Slooh Space Camera tracked and broadcast views of the newly discovered near-Earth asteroid from an observatory at the Canary Islands, off the west coast of Africa.
Although scientists said the asteroid never posed much of an impact threat, Patrick Paolucci, president of the Slooh Space Camera, said it should still be considered a close brush in astronomical terms.
This NASA radar image showing asteroid 2005 YU55 was obtained in 2011. The asteroid, said to be about the size of an aircraft carrier, came within 325,000 kilometres of Earth.(NASA)
Berman said LZ1 was
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