An asteroid as big as a 10-story building has passed by Earth at a distance half that of the Moon, researchers have revealed.
The asteroid, dubbed 2017 AG13, was only spotted on Saturday by the University of Arizona’s Catalina Sky Survey.
It is between 50 and 111 feet (15 to 34 meters) long, and when it passed by Earth, 2017 AG3 was moving at 9.9 miles per second (16 kilometers per second).
The near-Earth object, or NEO, came within about half the distance that the moon is from Earth, according to Slooh.
‘This is moving very quickly, very nearby to us,’ Eric Feldman, an astronomer with Slooh, said during a live broadcast of the flyby at 7:47 a.m. ET on January 9.
‘This one has a particularly elliptical orbit.
‘It actually crosses the orbits of two planets, Venus and Earth.
Slooh’s broadcast said 2017 AG3 was ‘roughly the same size as the asteroid that struck Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013,’ meaning had it hit, the effects would have been similar.
Its next close approach to Earth is expected on December 28, 2017.