Earth experiences closest shave with ‘asteroid 2011 MD’

Washington, June 28: The Earth had a close shave with asteroid 2011 MD, the size of a tour bus, which zipped within 7,500 miles from the planet on June 27.

The space rock reached its closest point to Earth just after 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT), when it crept within 7,500 miles (12,000 km) before whipping away again like a slingshot.

According to images released by sky-watcher Peter Birtwhistle, of the Great Shefford Observatory, the space rock looked little more than a dim, moving point of light.

It was flying over the southern Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Antarctica at the time of its closest approach, reports Fox News.

NASA scientists have revealed the flyby was so close that the space rock was nearer to the planet than some satellites.

The asteroid’s close brush with Earth sent it off on a new trajectory through the solar system.

The space rock flew well below geosynchronous satellites, which orbit 22,236 miles (35,786 km) above Earth, but well above the 220-mile (354-km) altitude of the International Space Station.

Experts believe there was little chance that the asteroid would hit a satellite because of the vastness of space and the relatively small number of satellites. ANI)