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Close Encounter: Earth-Asteroid Near Miss

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Sky News
Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Earth has had a near miss this week when a huge asteroid whizzed past, less than 50,000 miles away.

The asteroid – about the size of a 10-storey building – flew past the Earth at roughly twice the distance as the highest Earth-orbiting satellites, according to website space.com.

It is similar in size to a rock that exploded above Siberia in 1908, flattening 80 million trees across an 800 square mile area.

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Close Encounter: Earth Asteroid Near Miss 335x205 graph128c aj

The impact had the force of a thousand atomic bombs, astronomers say.

Asteroid 2009 DD45 was closest to the earth on Monday at around 8.30am, at just under 45,000 miles above the surface of the planet.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Astronomers knew it was coming after it was spotted last Saturday as a faint dot showing up in pictures at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 4:18 am





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