A RECENTLY discovered small asteroid will pass by the Earth today but poses no risk of striking, US space scientists said.
The orb will come just 395,000km from Earth – a hair's breadth away in astronomical terms. At its closest, it will be closer to Earth than our Moon is, scientists said.
The asteroid, approximately 22 metres wide, was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey, Tucson, Arizona. It will come nearest to Earth at about 9am AEST today.
Space officials said the “fly-by” is closer than most, although not especially rare.
“Fly-bys of near-Earth objects within the moon's orbit occur every few weeks,” said Don Yeomans of NASA's Near-Earth Object Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
NASA tracks asteroids and comets passing close to Earth using both ground and space-based telescopes.
Its Near-Earth Object Observations Program, dubbed Spaceguard, discovers the objects and plots the orbits of many of them to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to Earth.
Grandins Notes: This asteroid will pass by earth tonight. April 8th 2010 at 7:05 EST/6:05 CDT. The asteroid will pass by earth 223,000 miles away from earth. That's as close as the moon is to the earth. So it's pretty dang close. It's 71 feet IF it was to hit it would make a mediumish size crater. But wouldn't harm humans. Less you were under it as it hit. So no need to freak out just a harmless asteroid passing threw. The map above is where the asteroid is '2010 GA6' is the asteroids name. And the blue line is earth. And 2010 GA6 shows how close it is to earth..