This was really close. Less than a rounding error from an astronomical perspective. It strikes me that the current state of our technology and resources will allow us to spot these things coming at us before we have developed the wherewithal to do anything about it. I'll put aside the grim notion of helplessly watching the end approach to suggest pouring some of the stimulus money into avoiding armageddon. Guns in the sky anyone? Space tractors?
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reported that the asteroid zoomed past Monday morning.
The asteroid named 2009 DD45 was about 78,000 kilometres from Earth.
That is just twice the height of some telecommunications satellites and about a fifth of the distance to the Moon.
The space ball measured between 21 metres and 47 metres in diameter.
The Planetary Society said that made it the same size as an asteroid that exploded over Siberia in 1908 and levelled more than 2,000 square kilometres of forest.
Most people probably didn’t notice the cosmic close call.
The asteroid was only spotted two days ago and at its closest point passed over the Pacific Ocean near Tahiti.