Bus-Size Asteroid Gives Earth A Close Shave

An asteroid the size of a school bus buzzed by Earth Wednesday in an exceptionally close — but safe — flyby. Scientists discovered the object on Monday, just two days before its encounter with Earth.

The newfound asteroid, named 2016 RB1, is between 13 and 46 feet wide. The space rock made its closest approach to Earth at 1:28 p.m. EDT (1728 UTC). According to NASA’s Near Earth Object Program, RB1 zoomed past Earth at a relative speed of over 18,000 mph and passed within 23,900 miles of the Earth’s surface. This is only one-tenth the average distance between Earth and the moon.

The rock came particularly close to Earth’s communication satellites, which orbit at an altitude of 22,300 miles. But there was no need for panic — scientists tracking the asteroid said there is no risk of impact, according to a report from EarthSky.

>>Read more about the close encounter at CBSNews.com

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