Astronomy Magazine

Tiny Asteroid Zips Close By Earth

Posted on the 06 February 2011 by Kovmil
A tiny asteroid passed close by Earth Friday (Feb. 4) but posed no threat of impacting our planet - or even reaching the surface, NASA officials say.

Tiny Asteroid Zips Close By EarthThe small asteroid, named 2011 CQ 1, passed within 5470 km (3400 miles) of Earth at about 2:40 p.m. EST (19:40 GMT). It was discovered just hour or two later by astronomer Richard A. Kowalski.

Asteroid 2011 CQ 1 is only 1.3 meters (4 feet) wide, so small that it would have incinerated in Earth's atmosphere before reaching the ground. "Even if it came closer, a rocky asteroid small as 2011 CQ1 would break apart in out atmosphere and cause no ground damage", Nasa Asteroid Watch scientists wrote in a Twitter post.

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