Monster asteroid hurtles safely past Earth

London, Feb 2: An Asteroid, which is 400 times the City of London, passed relatively close to Earth on the evening of Jan 31.

Asteroid ’433 Eros’ that came within 16.6million miles of Earth is the solar system’s second largest asteroid hurtling rather close to our planet.

The massive hunk of rock posed no threat, but is the closest an asteroid of its size has come to Earth in a long time, the Daily Mail reported.

The last time Eros got up close and personal was 37 years ago in 1975. Its next visit won’t be until 2056.

Researchers say stargazers who missed the fly-by can now aim their telescopes in the direction of constellations Leo, Sextans and Hydra, where the asteroid will be until February 10.

Eros was discovered in 1898 by Gustav Witt in Germany and Auguste Charlois in France. It orbits the Sun every 642.9 days and rotates once every five hours and 16 minutes.

Last week a smaller bus-sized asteroid passed even closer to Earth.

Asteroid 2012 BX34, came within 36,750miles of Earth at about 3.30pm on Friday, according to NASA’s Asteroid Watch programme.

Even though this is more than five times closer than the moon, at 11 meters wide, it didn’t pose any threat. (ANI)