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Unstrange Phenomena

27 June 2011

Wave Goodbye As Asteroid 2011 MD Closely Sails By Earth

From Denny:  Astronomers just found out about this asteroid coming into our neighborhood for a drive by. It's called 2011 MD and will pass within 7500 miles of our planet today. Astronomers figure the asteroid is between 16 to 35 feet wide and coming 23 times closer than our moon.

It was only spotted last week by a robotic telescope in New Mexico configured to search out these kinds of astronomical hazards.

To give you a perspective, this asteroid will pass closer to Earth than our own GPS satellites. From the Planetary Science Institute check out these incredible animations explaining the geometry of this encounter.

The good news is that this asteroid will avoid a collision with planet Earth though it certainly will be a nail-biting close call. Astronomers seem to believe that even if it did come close it would burn up in the atmosphere on its descent. So, spread the word: humanity is not doomed to the fate of the dinosaurs, at least not this week. :)  Check out the video:

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