An asteroid about the size of a bus gave Earth a close shave Monday morning, cruising well inside the orbit of the moon. The roughly 26 ft. wide space rock, known as 2017 SX17, zoomed within 54,000 miles of our planet just after 5 a.m Central time.
For perspective, the moon orbits earth at an average distance of about 239,000 miles. 2017 SX17 was discovered just a little more than a week ago. The asteroid has already been studied by several telescopes and observing campaigns,
Their observations have allowed researchers to determine the space rock completes one lap around the sun every 467 earth days. Monday’s flyby serves as a sort of prelude to another close encounter 10 days from now.
On the 12th, Asteroid 2012 TC4 will come within a mere 27,000 miles of earth.