A large asteroid passed close to Earth and reached its closest point on January 24.
NASA has an eye on the big space rock because it’s considered a «near Earth object.»
It’s called the Asteroid 2017 XC62 and NASA thinks it’s up to 623 feet wide.
This is more than twice the size of the Statue of Liberty.
The giant asteroid blasted close to Earth at 9,500 miles per hour on Monday.
The good news is that it stayed 4.4 million miles away.
By comparison, the Moon is only about 238,900 miles away.
An asteroid may look pretty as if it’s stayed very far away, but it’s actually very close in area.
NASA considers anything that passes close to Earth’s orbit to be a Near Earth Object (NEO).
Scientists are tracking thousands of near-Earth objects to see if they are on a collision course with our planet.
Any fast-moving space object within 4.65 million miles is considered a «potential hazard» by vigilant space organizations.
One small change in their paths could spell disaster on Earth.
Plans to save Earth from asteroids
Some experts worry that Earth is not yet ready to defend itself from potentially deadly asteroids.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Once worried He tweeted: «A big boulder will eventually hit the ground and we don’t have a defense at the moment.»
But NASA is looking at some defense tactics.
It recently launched a double asteroid redirection test mission.
NASA He said: «DART is the first-ever mission dedicated to investigating and demonstrating a single method for asteroid deflection by altering the motion of an asteroid in space through kinetic collision.»
DART must collide with a small asteroid called Dimorphos in September in order to derail it.
In other news, NASA revealed Amazing shots of solar energy Luminous at work.
I built China Satellite To train astronauts for future missions.
A huge asteroid has been captured in scary shots While capturing it close to Earth this week.
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