Watch An Asteroid The Size Of A Bus Make A Drive By Earth That’s Too Close For Comfort

asteroid test
An asteroid the size of a bus made a nearby pass of Earth yesterday. Asteroid 2022 NF's flyby was broadcast live by The Virtual Telescope Project, and you can watch the replay below.

Asteroid Day is in remembrance of the anniversary of the June 30, 1908 Tunguska event in Siberia, which resulted in seismic shockwaves being registered as far away as England. Over a century after the horrendous event, people are still debating what caused it. The generally agreed upon theory, however, is that a large space rock, about 120 feet across, entered Earth's atmosphere of Siberia and then detonated in the sky. The Virtual Telescope Project broadcasted the flyby of asteroid 2022 NF as a way of remembering that disastrous day.

At its closest approach of 56,000 miles (90,000 kilometers), 2022 NF will come within approximately 23% of the distance to our moon. While that is considered to be close in terms of celestial terms, it is still a safe distance from Earth.

The asteroid was first spotted in 2022 and is between 18 feet and 41 feet (5.5 meters and 12.5 meters). This makes 2022 NF at least the size of a bus, but could be as big as a large shipping container. Technically speaking, that size is not classified as a "potentially hazardous asteroid", according to the metrics used by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California.

According to JPL's Small-Body Database, the asteroid circles the sun about every six years. As of now, NASA and other agencies have found no imminent threats to be concerned about in terms of large asteroids that could impact Earth. However, the space agencies keep a watchful eye on the sky, and NASA is working on planetary defense technologies as a precaution.

While the coverage began yesterday on the Virtual Telescope Project's website, you can watch the replay above via YouTube.

Top Image Credit: NASA/JPL