Car-sized Asteroid Whizzes Past Earth, Narrowly Missing Collision

Car-sized Asteroid Whizzes Past Earth, Narrowly Missing Collision

Car-sized Asteroid Whizzes Past Earth, Narrowly Missing Collision

Car-sized Asteroid Whizzes Past Earth, Narrowly Missing Collision

Astronomers had their hands full when a brand-new asteroid, 2024 GJ2, made an unexpected visit to our cosmic neighbourhood. With dimensions akin to a small car, spanning between 2.5 and 5 meters, this space rock came barreling towards Earth with astonishing proximity, discovered just a couple of days before its grand entrance.

Zooming past our planet at an astonishingly close distance of 12,000 miles, this asteroid's journey was nothing short of a heart-stopping moment for astronomers and enthusiasts alike. To put it into perspective, that's just a fraction—three per cent, to be exact—of the distance separating Earth from the Moon. At its closest approach, it skimmed within a hair-raising 7,641 miles, making it one of the closest near misses in recent memory.

Thankfully, despite its hair-raising trajectory, 2024 GJ2 posed no immediate danger to our home planet. Its modest size means that if it had veered closer, it likely would have met a fiery end in Earth's atmosphere. But the adrenaline-inducing moment served as a stark reminder of the dynamic and often unpredictable nature of space.

But fear not, for this cosmic interloper won't be making any surprise visits for quite some time. Its next rendezvous with Earth isn't scheduled until a distant 70 years from now. And even then, it'll be keeping a safe distance, estimated to pass by at a more comfortable 127,970 miles—a significant leap from its recent hair-raisingly close encounter.

This close call also shines a light on the tireless efforts of organizations like NASA, which diligently track and catalogue near-Earth asteroids. With over 35,000 such objects logged to date, these vigilant efforts ensure that we stay informed and prepared, even as we continue to marvel at the wonders of our universe.


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