INTERACTIVE CHELYABINSK QUIZOn 15 February 2013, a fireball blazed across the sky over the Ural Mountains in Russia. The asteroid broke up over the Chelyabinsk region, injuring inhabitants below and leaving destruction in its wake.
AN INTERACTIVE VIDEO OF THE CHELYABINSK EVENTRe-experience February 15, 2013. The day a meteor exploded over Russia
QUIZ: Are you a rock star?Play our fun asteroid Quiz!
On Christmas Day, astronomers at the Mount Lemmon Survey near Tucson, Arizona, discovered an asteroid fast approaching Earth. The newly named 2017 YZ4 skimmed past the planet at 10:50 a.m. ET (7:50 a.m. PT) on December 28, 2017.
The previously unknown rock hurtled through space at almost 21,500 miles per hour. It flew past the Earth closer than the moon. It is believed to measure between 22.6 and 49 feet in diameter according to observation news website The Watchers.
Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C, tells Newsweek: “2017 YZ4 is the 52nd known asteroid to fly by Earth within one lunar distance this year and the first since two such asteroids flew past us on November 21. They varied from 1 to 80 meters [3 to 260 feet] in size.”
Astronomers estimate it reached less than 139,000 miles of Earth. That’s only just longer than half the distance between the Earth and the Moon. Even at its closest, 2017 YZ4 was incredibly unlikely to breach the Earth’s atmosphere. However, it came unusually close for a celestial boulder.
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