A city-size Asteroid gives Earth a close shave

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A city-size Asteroid gives Earth a close shave
A city-size Asteroid gives Earth a close shave

Washington : A city-size asteroid reportedly gave Earth a close shave on Tuesday, zooming safely past at 6:05 p.m. EDT at a distance of about 126,000 miles.

This is the closest an asteroid has come near Earth in last 300 years. To put in perspective the asteroid was at half the distance of Earth and Moon.

The Asteroid, known as 2010 WC9, was moving at almost 29,000 miles per hour as it passed. With a diameter of 60 to 134 meters, its size was like a small city town, Dr. Erin Ryan, an asteroid expert at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, told NBC News MACH in an email.

Though watching it through naked eyes during the flyby was not possible, Northolt Branch Observatories, an astronomy group in London, England, livestreamed telescopic views of the asteroid on its Facebook page in the days leading up to the flyby.

What if it had an encounter with earth?

If it were made of rocky material, Ryan said, it might create a small crater and shatter windows — as happened in 2013, when a meteor entering the atmosphere blew up over Chelyabinsk, Russia. But some asteroids are made of metal, and if one the size of WC9 were to hit us, she said, "you'd get a crater about as big as Meteor Crater."

But there is nothing to worry as Asteroid collision with Earth is very unlikely in thousands of the years.