January 27th, 2012
06:01 AM ET

Asteroid to pass close to Earth today

An asteroid about the size of a school bus will pass close to Earth today, but it poses no danger to the planet, NASA astronomers say.

The huge rock, called Asteroid 2012 BX34, will close to within about 36,750 miles of Earth, or about .17 times the distance between the Earth and the moon, according to a Twitter post from Asteroid Watch, which is operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Near Earth Object Office.

"It wouldn't get through our atmosphere intact even if it dared to try," an Asteroid Watch tweet says of the 37-foot diameter rock.

The asteroid makes its closest approach about 10:25 a.m. ET, according to NASA.

Check out NASA's orbit diagram of the asteroid and info on when it will again pass close to Earth.

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Filed under: Solar System • Space
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Nick

    Seventeen times the Earth-Moon distance?? I think they mean **1/17th** times the Earth-Moon distance. The last I checked, the Moon's mean distance is roughly 384,000 mi from the Earth. Seventeen times the Earth-Moon distance would have put the small asteroid 6.5 million miles away.

    February 24, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Patrick

      Sorry Nick, not **1/17th** either, that would equal .0588235 etc. etc.

      February 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Peter

    Your grasp of the distance between the earth and the moon is correct, NICK. Yet another example of sloopy, unresearched journalism.

    February 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • glennrobert

      Yeah! They were sloopy. I think the earth moon distance is about 250,000 miles allowing for some sloopyness!

      February 25, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Really guys, sloppy journalism? More like sloppy reading. Its .17 times the earth to moon distance, as in 17 hundreths, not 17 times the distance.

      February 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. LarryT

    Guess you guys missed the decimal point in front of the 17, huh?

    February 25, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. dazzle ©

    Not the Patrick we know at 12:26.

    February 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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