Asteroid the size of a double decker bus hurtles past Earth

Bus-Size Asteroid Has Close Brush With Earth



An asteroid around the size of a double decker bus has passed by closer to Earth than the orbit of the moon.

Although there are international teams of scientists and researchers constantly monitoring the sky for asteroid activity, astronomers at the Mt Lemmon Survey team had only discovered the asteroid, called 2014 HL129, a few days before it passed by our planet on 3 May.

The space rock passed within 186,000 miles of Earth, which might sound a lot, but is within the Moon's orbit.

Nasa scientists and researchers keep a constant look-out for potentially dangerous asteroids that could crash into the earth.

In 2013 over 1,000 people were injured after an asteroid exploded above the Russian city of Chelyabinsk.

Former astronaut Ed Lu told Wired.co.uk that it was only "blind luck" that the planet had not suffered a deadly hit from an asteroid, the Independentreports.

He said: "While most large asteroids with the potential to destroy an entire country or continent have been detected, less than 10,000 of the more than a million dangerous asteroids with the potential to destroy an entire major metropolitan area have been found by all existing space or terrestrially-operated observatories."

According to the NZ Herald he added: "Because we don't know where or when the next major impact will occur, the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a 'city-killer' sized asteroid has been blind luck."

Sky News reports that the latest asteroid was the size of a double decker bus at seven metres wide.

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Images from space by astronaut Andre Kuipers
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Asteroid the size of a double decker bus hurtles past Earth

The Aurora Borealis over Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Northern Germany.

In shot is the Soyuz TMA-03M module.

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