Two Small Asteroids Will Fly Close by Earth

Small asteroid 2011 SM173 passed Earth at a safe distance of 180,000 miles (290,000 km or .8 lunar distance) on September 30,2011, the second space rock encounter for our planet this week. Asteroid 2011 SM173 was discovered on September 29 by astronomers and is about 56 feet (17 meters) wide, making it about the size of a house. Its flyby came just four days after the pass of another space rock the asteroid 2011 SE58 which actually came even closer to Earth. The 33-foot (10-m) wide asteroid 2011 SE58 slipped within 147,000 miles (236,573 km) of Earth during an evening flyby on September 26.  

According  to database maintained by   NASA’s   Jet   Propulsion  Laboratory  (JPL)   in Pasadena, Calif., asteroid    2011  SE58   was    discovered  by  skywatchers on September 21.  According to NASA scientists both asteroids were too small to threaten Earth with a serious impact. If they had barreled into Earth, they likely would have burned up completely in Earth’s atmosphere.