Posted at 09:43 AM ET, 06/27/2011

Asteroid won’t hit Earth, we hope [VIDEO]


An image of the asteroid as it passes near Earth. (Image from YouTube/ Peter Lake)
An asteroid discovered late last week will miss the Earth by only 7,500 miles on Monday, putting the space rock 1/32nd the distance of the moon. Stargazers around the world will be able to see the asteroid, which is about the size of a large house, when it’s closest to Earth.

The asteroid was discovered by MIT’s Linear program, which uses a pair of robotic telescopes in New Mexico to scan the skies for hazards. Astronomers say the space object could also be a discarded rocket booster from a previously launched planetary probe, SkyMania reports.

The asteroid will pass above Earth’s surface at around 1 p.m. EDT, and will be easiest to observe from South Africa and parts of Antarctica. It will be visible across Australia, New Zealand, southern and eastern Asia, and the western Pacific as well.

Amateur astronomer and blogger Peter Lake in Australia captured photos of the asteroid using a 20-inch telescope in New Mexico controlled by his iPhone. Watch a video of those images below:

In February, the earth experienced another flyby when asteroid 2011 CQ1 avoided an impact with Earth by only 3,405 miles.

By  |  09:43 AM ET, 06/27/2011

 
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