An asteroid that astronomers say is about the size of a bus zoomed past Earth on Thursday, coming pretty darn close to our home planet, as far as these things go.
According to Space.com, experts only discovered the asteroid, officially known as 2017 BS32, on January 30, just in time for it to pass by Earth on February 2. At around 3:23 p.m. it was 101,214 miles away from Earth. (The moon, for comparison’s sake, is about 240,000 miles away from us on average).
The asteroid, which was estimated to be about 39 feet in diameter, was totally harmless, and there likely wouldn’t have been much damage even if it had come, oh, about 100,000 miles closer to use than it did. If there is anything to be mildly concerned about regarding this little visit, though, it’s that 2017 BS32 seems to be part of a gang. Slooh astronomer Paul Cox said in a statement that the asteroid was the third such asteroid to come close to Earth in just four weeks.
“It raises a few eyebrows when we see a number of close approaching NEAs over such a short period of time,” Cox wrote. “We’ll investigate how this could be.”
Cox says that Slooh’s astronomers will be looking into where this increase in NEAs may have come from, if anything like this has happened in the past, and why scientists often miss smaller asteroids until they’re right in our neck of the solar system.
Slooh shared a video of the asteroid’s flyby, which you can check out below.