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Surprise Flyby of Asteroid on January 9, 2017

Accepted submission by takyon at 2017-01-09 21:42:54

[Time sensitive but remove breaking news nexus]

An asteroid with the potential to harm thousands of Earthlings was detected just two days before it passed by Earth []:

A smallish asteroid zoomed past Earth this morning (Jan. 9), just two days after scientists first spotted the space rock. The asteroid, known as 2017 AG13, flew by our planet at just half the distance from Earth to the moon today at 7:47 a.m. EST (1247 GMT). (On average, the moon lies about 239,000 miles, or 385,000 kilometers, from Earth.) You can learn more about today's flyby in this video of asteroid 2017 AG13 [] from [], which includes details on the space rock from Slooh Community Observatory astronomer Eric Edelman.

2017 AG13 is thought to be between 36 and 111 feet (11 to 34 meters) wide, according to astronomers at the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For perspective, the object that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabins []k in February 2013, injuring more than 1,000 people, was thought to be about 65 feet (20 m) wide.

See also: NASA Formalizes Planetary Defense Coordination Office to Track Asteroids []
NASA and FEMA Conduct Asteroid Threat Response Exercise []
NASA Office to Coordinate Asteroid Detection, Hazard Mitigation []

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