Bus-Sized Asteroid Captured Passing by the Earth and Moon
Another close encounter occurred last Jan. 25 as an asteroid passed by the planet in an alarming distance. Nevertheless, the space rock passed by the planet safely and was even captured on video and photos by some enthusiasts.
The asteroid that passed by the Earth, called Asteroid 2017 BX, was identified as a "Rerun." The said asteroid is about the size of a bus. NASA says it could be about 28 feet (8.5 meters) wide. The online observatory called Slooh allowed for a webcast last Jan. 25, where the harmless passage was witnessed by many.
Reports say that this is the second time that a bus-sized asteroid passed by the planet harmlessly. Experts accompanied the webcast with analysis, factual information about the asteroid and details about the phenomenon like the speed of the asteroid.
The said asteroid was just discovered days before it passed by the planet. It approached the planet just before midnight at a distance of 162,252 miles (261,119 kilometers) from Earth. The said distance is 30 percent closer to the planet compared to the moon's distance to Earth, according to Space.com.
The asteroid was called a "Rerun" since it was the second time a bus-sized asteroid passed by the planet at a distance that was closer than that of the moon. The name is also a short version of a popular character in a TV show called "What's Happening".
What's surprising and quite alarming was the fact that the asteroid was just discovered while it was almost near the planet. This means that it might have caused panic if it is a life-threatening space rock. Good thing it is still within a safe distance.
The asteroid is considered small despite its relatively fast approach, according to a report. It passed by the planet with about 17,000 miles per hour speed, a record that's even faster than the speed of a bullet.