Space Rock Sneaks Past the Earth

Article written: 19 Aug , 2002
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Amateur astronomers were given a rare treat on Sunday when asteroid 2002 NY40 passed within 530,000 kilometres of the Earth (a little further than the distance from Earth to the Moon). Over the course of a few hours, the 800 metre space rock passed through several constellations in the night sky, visible in binoculars or a small telescope. 2002 NY40 is of minor concern as astronomers believe there is a 1/500,000 chance it could strike the Earth in 2022 – the flyby will give them an opportunity to better calculate its future path.


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