Flying close enough to Earth that in astronomic terms one could feel the breeze as it passed, a small asteroid flashed by just after midnight today.
NASA reported the space rock, with the unimaginative name of 2012 KT42, was just 8,700 miles above the atmosphere when it went by.
While the asteroid’s approach is actually within the orbit’s geosynchronous satellites, it is not of the sort to inspire fears of global destruction.
NASA estimates the object is roughly 10 to 30 feet in diameter. It is still not tiny. The fireball that flashed over California earlier this year and dropped fragments of itself over the Sierra Nevada, was said to be abut the size of a mini-van.
SMALL ASTEROID BUZZES EARTH: Newly-discovered asteroid 2012 KT42 is flying past Earth today (May 29th) only ~14,000 km above the planet’s surface. This means 2012 KT42 will actually fly inside the Clark Belt of geosynchronous satellites. The 3- to 10-meter wide asteroid ranks # 6 on the top 20 list of closest-approachers to Earth. According to the asteroid’s orbit, there is no danger of a collision. Even if it did hit, this space rock is too small to cause significant damage. It would likely disintegrate almost entirely in the atmosphere, peppering the ground below with relatively small meteorites.