An asteroid just skimmed Earth hurtling at speed of 21,500mph

The space rock came within 71,807km of our planet.


A space rock hurtling at high speed of 21,500mph just skimmed Earth at a fraction of the distance between our planet and the Moon, revealed NASA's asteroid trackers. The asteroid known as the Asteroid 2019 JH7, shot past our planet on May 16.

An asteroid just skimmed Earth hurtling at speed of 21,500mph


According to the space agency, the asteroid shot extremely close to the Earth. The flyby happened just two days after NASA observed the asteroid heading towards our planet. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said the asteroid's trajectory falls under the "Earth Close Approach" category.

At it's closest, Asteroid JH7 approached the Earth from 0.19 times the distance to the Moon. The space rock came within 44,618 miles (71,807km) our planet's range. Asteroid JH7 in a Near-Earth-Object (NEO), which means it's orbiting the Sun from a maximum distance of 1.3 astronomical units or 120.8 million miles.

NASA said: "As they orbit the Sun, Near-Earth Objects can occasionally approach close to Earth. Note that a 'close' passage astronomically can be very far away in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometers."

Besides, NASA chief administrator Jim Bridenstine has issued a warning - saying the Earth is "about to face its biggest threat from outer space."

"This is about ultimately protecting the only planet we know right now to host life, and that is the planet Earth," he added. "The Earth is going to get hit with another big asteroid. The problem is, we don't know when. It's a very low probability in anyone's lifetime, but it's a very high-consequence event. If it happens, it would be like control-alt-delete for everything."

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