9 Jun 2013

Earth buzzed by asteroid

8:40 am on 9 June 2013

An asteroid the size of a small truck zoomed past Earth four times closer than the moon on Saturday.

NASA said Asteroid 2013 LR6 was discovered about a day before its closest approach to Earth, which occurred at 12:42am EDT on Saturday about 105,000 km over the Southern Ocean, south of Australia.

The 10-metre asteroid posed no threat.

There has been a parade of celestial objects visiting recently.

A week ago, QE2, an asteroid 2.7km wide, complete with its own moon in tow, passed 5.8 million km from Earth.

A small asteroid exploded in the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, on 15 February.

The same day, an unrelated asteroid passed 27,700 km from Earth, closer than the networks of communication satellites that ring the planet.

NASA about 95% of the large asteroids, those with diameters 1km or larger, have orbits that take them relatively close to Earth.

An object of that size hit the planet about 65 million years ago in what is now Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.