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Second asteroid in a week passes between Earth and the moon

Bryan Alaspa's picture

For the second time in a week a small asteroid passed within the orbit of the moon, very close to Earth, but scientists are assuring the public that neither posed a threat to the planet.

The second asteroid flew past the Earth on Friday night. This was the second time last week that a small planetary rock had passed between the Earth and the moon. However, scientists insist that both were so small that they posed no actual threat to Earth.

According to media reports, the asteroid, named 2011 SM173 passed by the Earth at a distance of 180,000 miles. The asteroid was first noticed by scientists on Thursday, and the rock passed between Earth and the moon happened on Friday. The asteroid was about 56 feet wide or, for comparison purposes, about the size of an average house.

The other asteroid that passed between the Earth and the moon was designated 2011 SE58. That asteroid reportedly actually came even closer to the Earth than the one that flew past on Friday. This second asteroid flew past on Monday and was about 33 feet wide. 2011 SE58 flew past the planet at a distance of 147,000 miles.

Scientists say that both of the asteroids were too small to pose any serious threat to Earth. Both of them were too small, they say, to have done any damage. Both of them, had hey fallen within the orbit of the Earth or started to fall through its atmosphere, would have likely burned up well before they hit the planet.

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