squeaked

Closest-ever asteroid to pass Earth and not hit it just squeaked by

This illustration depicts an asteroid, though not the one that squeezed by Earth on Aug. 16.


NASA/JPL-CalTech

We’ve gotten pretty good at spotting worrisome asteroids and tracking their paths. But sometimes the little ones sneak by, like asteroid 2020 QG did on Sunday.

The European Space Agency (ESA) NEO Coordination Centre, which monitors near-Earth objects, called 2020 QG “the closest asteroid ever observed to pass by our planet without hitting it” in a statement on Tuesday.

The asteroid snuggled up to Earth on Aug. 16, which was the same day it was first spotted by the Zwicky Transient Facility, an astronomical survey that looks out for these sorts of things. 

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