Monday, April 18, 2011

Asteroid as strong as 15 atomic bombs whizzes by earth

Close: Astronomers spotted the asteroid, circled, on Monday and tracked it through space until it passed earth last nightAn asteroid as strong as 15 atomic bombs whizzed past earth last night at just ten times the distance of the moon.

Astronomers first spotted the cigar-shaped rock spinning through space on Monday evening and tracked it.

The star-gazers were baffled by why the asteroid 'blinked' at them until they realised that due to is long shape, the darkness came when it rotated slightly out of view.

Thankfully, the 50m long rock that could have destroyed a small country went barely noticed as it passed earth at a distance of some 2,085,321 miles.

'Usually, when we see an asteroid strobe on and off like that, it means that the body is elongated and we are viewing it broadside along its long axis first, and then on its narrow end as it rotates,' Don Yeomans from Nasa told news.com.au.

via Asteroid as strong as 15 atomic bombs whizzes by earth | Mail Online.

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