A new video shows the giant asteroid 4179 Toutatis hurdling through space on its flyby of Earth earlier this week.
Photographer: Alex R. Gibbs, Catalina Sky Survey, University of Arizona, NASA
While you were sleeping early Tuesday morning, an asteroid made one of the closest brushes with Earth ever.
A newly-discovered small asteroid harmlessly zipped close to Earth -- just as scientists expected.
The 16-foot-long space rock, discovered on Memorial Day, passed by early Tuesday at a distance of 8,950 miles from the Earth's surface.
In space terms, that's the width of a flea's hair.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which tracks such flybys, said the asteroid -- dubbed 2012 KT42 -- was the sixth closest asteroid approach. It passed between the Earth and orbiting satellites.
In case you were wondering, the asteroid would not have caused any damage if it would have hit Earth. Since it was so small, it most likely would have disintegrated in the atmosphere, leaving just a few small pellets to reach the surface.
It was the second asteroid encounter this week. On Monday, another asteroid, measuring 69 feet across, flew by at a distance of 32,000 miles.
To watch NASA video of the asteroids flyby, go here : http://bit.ly/KVHmOx
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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