A report for those who watch the skies; astronomers have just learned that an asteroid whizzed by Earth at 9.9 miles/second. The asteroid was 34 meters long.
“This is moving very quickly, very nearby to us,” Eric Feldman, Slooh, said in a live broadcast of the flyby. “It actually crosses the orbits of two planets, Venus and Earth.”
Comprised of porous rock, angling at 45-degrees 2017 AG3 would have had a similar effect to the asteroid that broke up over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013. 2017 AG3 would not have impacted the Earth, rather it would have exploded as an air-burst releasing 700 kilotons of energy into the atmosphere – roughly 10 miles above the surface of the Earth.
According to the NASA Near Earth Object Program, there are an expected 38 “close approaches” in January alone.