A 30-50 meter-wide asteroid passed over the Earth just 60,000 kilometres over the south-western Pacific at 12:40am Australian time – that is 7-times closer to us than the moon. The asteroids glow was so bright you could see it through the clouds. If the asteroid had hit an ocean, it would have tsunamied. No object of that size, or larger, has ever come closer to the Earth.
[flickr style=”border:none; padding:4px; border:1px solid #BDBDBD; float:right; margin-left:5px;”]photo:3328747912[/flickr]The Asteroid would have looked something like this which is a photo of the great daylight fireball of 1972.
Arounds 1000 asteroids are known to have come close enough to the Earth to be potentially hazardous.
A collision with a one-kilometre-wide asteroid could cause global devastation. One that was just 300 metres wide could throw the world into “a short-term winter”.
Objects bigger than one kilometre wide are likely to hit the world only every few million years but ones large enough to threaten a city crashed “probably once a century”.
Click here to watch an animation of exactly how close the asteroid got.