Asteroid news: ‘Near-Earth’ rock just came closer than the Moon | Science | News | Express.co.uk

A NEWLY discovered asteroid whizzed past Earth last night, coming closer to our planet than the Moon.

Asteroid 2020 RF3 flew within one lunar distance – the distance between the Earth and the Moon – making it the 61st asteroid to do so this year. Astronomers only discovered the asteroid on September 12, 2020, shortly before it made its close approach last night.

The space rock, which was found by astronomers using the PAN-STARRS telescope in Hawaii, came within just 0.24 lunar distances, or 92,000 kilometres, of Earth.

Asteroid RF3 is a small space rock with an estimated diameter between 5.3 and 12 metres.

The asteroid belongs to the Aten group of space rocks, which are asteroids which have an orbit with a close proximity to Earth.

According to NASA, there are more than 1,100 Aten asteroids in the solar system.

asteroid

Asteroid news: ‘Near-Earth’ rock just came closer than the Moon (Image: GETTY)

Source: Asteroid news: ‘Near-Earth’ rock just came closer than the Moon | Science | News | Express.co.uk