The formidable asteroid, dubbed Asteroid 2019 LB, shot past the Earth today (Wednesday, June 12). NASA's asteroid trackers at the California Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have warned the asteroid would fly on a so-called Earth-Close Approach trajectory. The news comes a month after astronomers first observed the rock in space on May 7. And, according to NASA's JPL, the asteroid made its closest approach around 3.38pm BST (10.38am EST)
Asteroid LB is an Apollo-type space
The JPL estimates the LB measures somewhere in the range of 82ft to 180.5ft (25m to 55m) in diameter
At the upper end of NASA's estimate, the space rock
And if that is not terrifying enough, the asteroid is flying around the Sun at speeds that are over 6.05km per second or 1
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On this fast orbit, the asteroid follows a path similar to its asteroid, 1862 Apollo. asteroid's trajectory does not take it beyond the Asteroid Belt in-between Mars and Jupiter, NASA class
According to NASA, an NEO is an "asteroid or comet with a distance perihelion less than or equal to 1.3 astronomical units."
One astronomical unit translates into about
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What does this mean, is is the distance between Earth and the sun. Asteroids like LB orbit the Sun from a maximum distance of about 120.8 million miles
And occasionally, these imposing space rocks will cross paths with Earth's own orbit of the Sun.
NASA said: "As they orbit the Sun, Near-Earth Objects can Occasionally Approach Near Earth
" Note that a 'close' passage astronomically can be very far in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometers. "
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According to NASA's calculations, the space rock's closest approach equals around 0.02336 astronomical units. 19659003] In other words, the space rock is safely shot from a distance of more than 2.1 million miles
. The distance in question is approximately the equivalent of 9.09 times the distance between Earth and the Moon.