NASA announced on Thursday that an asteroid, 2012 BX34, will pass very close near Earth today, Friday, Jan. 27 thought it does not pose a threat.
Busy week. Asteroid 2012 BX34 will safely pass Earth on Jan. 27. Distance: 36,750 miles (59,044 km) or about .17 lunar [between the Earth and moon] distance, Asteroid Watch tweeted on Thursday.
Astronomers first detected the asteroid on Wednesday, according to BBC, and it is a record-breaker.
It's one of the closest approaches recorded, Gareth Williams, associate director of the US-based Minor Planet Center, told BBC.
It makes it in to the top 20 closest approaches, but it's sufficiently far away... that there's absolutely no chance of it hitting us, he told the BBC.
According to Asteroid Watch, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Near Earth Object Office, the asteroid is about the size of a school bus.
Asteroid 2012 BX34 is small, ~11 meters/37 ft diameter. It wouldn't get through our atmosphere intact even if it dared to try, Asteroid Watch said.
The asteroid will be the closest around 10:25 a.m. ET.
Asteroid Watch responded to one concerned Twitter user, Koski316, who mentioned the asteroid is like a grain of salt in comparison to the whole sky. Amazing how they spot these things.
Very true, Asteroid Watch replied. Asteroids this small are hard to spot, & luckily they pose the least concern. Our goal is to find the bigger ones.