xp65 writes "A previously undiscovered asteroid came within 14,000 km of Earth — just over one Earth diameter, 1/30 the lunar distance — on Friday, and astronomers noticed it only 15 hours before closest approach. On Nov. 6 at around 16:30 EST, a 7-meter asteroid, now called 2009 VA, came only about 2 Earth radii from impacting our planet. This is the third-closest known non-impacting Earth approach on record for a cataloged asteroid. The asteroid was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey and was quickly identified by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge MA as an object that would soon pass very close to the Earth. JPL's Near-Earth Object Program Office also computed an orbit solution for this object, and determined that it was not headed for an impact." The article notes, "On average, objects the size of 2009 VA pass this close about twice per year and impact Earth about once every 5 years."
Attend or create a Slashdot 20th anniversary party! DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test. ×