Asteroid 2012 KP24

Two Asteroids Zipped Close by Earth

Two small asteroids zipped close by Earth in back-to-back flybys of the planet on May 28 and on May 29.

As said NASA scientists while both space rocks came well within the moon’s orbit, they posed no danger to our plane. The newfound asteroid 2012 KP24, which measures approximately 69 feet (21 meters) across, zoomed by Earth on May 28, coming within 32,000 miles (51,000 kilometers) on its closest approach, according to astronomers at NASA’s Asteroid Watch at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Asteroid Watch is part of the Near-Earth Object Office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The NEO office oversees the agency’s efforts to detect, track and characterize potentially dangerous asteroids or comets that could zoom close to Earth. Another small asteroid, called 2012 KT42, flew past Earth early on May 29. The asteroid came within 8,950 miles (14,400 km) on its closest approach, which easily fits between the Earth and moon’s orbit. For comparison, the moon typically circles Earth at a distance of about 240,000 miles (386,000 km). The small space rock is only about 16 feet (5 m) wide, which means it would not pack much of a punch even if it did hit the planet, according to astronomer Tony Phillips. Astronomers with NASA and other organizations regularly scan the skies in search of potentially dangerous near-Earth objects. Experts estimate that space rocks that measure about 460 feet (140 m) across or larger could cause widespread devastation if they impact the planet. A much larger asteroid, however, would be required to cause destruction on a global scale.