Asteroid's passing was a cosmic near-miss
Mar. 4, 2009 05:59 AM
PASADENA, Calif. - An asteroid about the size of one that blasted Siberia a century ago just buzzed by Earth.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory reported that the asteroid zoomed past Monday morning.
The asteroid named 2009 DD45 was about 48,800 miles from Earth. That is just twice the height of some telecommunications satellites and about a fifth of the distance to the Moon.
The space ball measured between 69 feet and 154 feet in diameter. The Planetary Society said that made it the same size as an asteroid that exploded over Siberia in 1908 and leveled more than 800 square miles of forest.
Most people probably didn't notice the cosmic close call. The asteroid was only spotted two days ago and at its closest point passed over the Pacific Ocean near Tahiti.
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