PARIS: A peanut-shaped asteroid 1.3 kilo metres across streaked past Earth on Wednesday, giving astronomers a rare chance to check out a big space rock up close.
But not too close.
Dubbed 2014-JO25, the asteroid came nearest at 12:20 GMT and is now hurtling away from the centre of our solar system, said Ian Carnelli, an astronomer from the European Space Agency [ESA].
“It does not represent a danger to our planet,” Carnelli told AFP, noting that the asteroid passed within 1.8 million kilo metres [1.1 million miles] of Earth – about four times the distance to the moon.
The Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico – which has one of the world’s biggest radio telescopes – captured the 2014 JO25’s first images, showing an object that is likely “two large asteroids that fused together”.
The space projectile will remain visible to onlookers equipped with a telescope in the northern hemisphere on Wednesday night. Herewith, a little primer on…
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