They’re up there.


Astronomers over the weekend found a small asteroid that handed twice as near your head as many of the man-made satellites in orbit.

Asteroid 2017 UJ2 buzzed our planet Friday at a distance of about 11,154 miles (17,951 km). That is almost 4 occasions as shut as Asteroid 2012 TC4, which generated headlines earlier this month for giving our ambiance a return fly-by that astronomers used to observe for the potential of a future asteroid on an all-out collision course with Earth.

The explanation you most likely have not heard about this newest sneaky area rock is that it is a lot smaller than 2012 TC4 and most others seen passing shut by. It is solely in regards to the dimension of a giant fridge, so if it had been on a collision course with our planet, it will most likely deplete within the ambiance or depart only a small chunk to influence the floor.

This additionally wasn’t the closest an asteroid has buzzed us this yr: Asteroid 2017 GM handed about 900 miles nearer in April. 

However October has been a really busy month for pure area visitors round Earth. Along with 2012 TC4 and 2017 UJ2, half a dozen different asteroids have flown inside one lunar distance, or about 238,856 miles (384,402 km), of the one house we have ever recognized. 

It is sufficient to make you grateful there are such a lot of telescopes and astronomers maintaining a tally of all these rogue area rocks up there, however we may nonetheless use extra. Asteroid 2017 UJ2 is one other case the place it was first noticed within the cosmic rearview, a day after making its shut move.

Typically asteroids sneak up on us fully with out warning, just like the 2013 meteor that was by no means detected till it was exploding above Russia. 

Heads up, everybody!

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