‘Surprise’ bus-sized asteroid skims past Earth at 21,000mph

Artist's impression of asteroid

A “shock” asteroid which NASA solely noticed on Christmas Day has skimmed previous the Earth.

The asteroid, named 2017 YZ4, got here its nearest to Earth at three:56pm GMT on Thursday, lacking us by a mere 140,000 miles (224,000km).

As compared the moon is 238,000 miles (384,000km) away.

It was travelling at roughly 21,000mph (34,000kph) – 16 instances quicker than a rifle bullet, overlaying the gap between London and New York in roughly 10 minutes.

It’s the 52nd asteroid to skim previous the Earth by a distance lower than that of the Moon this yr.

Lindley Johnson, Planetary Protection Officer at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington DC instructed Newsweek that there are millions of related objects in house.

“As of December 25, there are 17,506 identified Close to-Earth Objects (NEOs), in orbits across the Solar that might come near our planet; 17,400 are asteroids and 106 are comets.”

Asteroids and comets are differentiated based mostly on what they’re mad of. Asteroids are composed of metals and rocks, whereas comets are principally made up of ice and mud.

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