An Asteroid Flew Past Earth Closer Than The Moon’s Orbit

Lately, the news was overcrowded by large asteroids, so a small one would smoothly go unnoticed by the radar of mass-media.

Astronomers noticed a new asteroid on April 27. It was approximated to be between 4 and 8 meters (13 to 26 feet) across.

The asteroid was already nearing our planet, and the chance of impact was estimated at 10%, which was still low enough not to panic.

Even if it had entered the atmosphere of our planet, it would have mostly burned up before getting close enough to be dangerous for something or someone.

Near Miss

The asteroid, known as 2020 HS7 – skimmed past Earth on April 28 at a relatively short distance – about nine times less than the average distance to the Moon.

It is undoubtedly one of the closest asteroid flybys in history.

The most concerning aspect of the encounter is that the asteroid flew only about 1,200 kilometers past the nearest satellite. Thankfully, no satellite was harmed.

Frequency Of Such Events

Astronomer Lindley Johnson of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office said that small asteroids like 2020 HS7 pass by our planet for a few times each month.

“It poses no threat to our planet,” the astronomer added.


The good news is that the encounter was beneficial for scientists. It allowed them to test and calibrate their observation, detection and prediction skills and technologies.

They were able to predict the orbit of 2020 HS7 with extreme precision, though they were only given a day’s notice.

Some bigger asteroids have recently passed by Earth. In the past few months, we have encountered large asteroids like 1998 OR2, which passed closely only a day after 2020 HS7. Also, 2020 BX12 had a flyby trajectory.

There’s no need to panic as neither of those posed a real threat to us.

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