Today, an asteroid the size of a bus will pass within a lunar distance of the Earth 65,000 miles above the surface.
It’s a close call, but there is no need to be concerned that the asteroid, called 2018 DV1, will come in contact with Earth. This latest close encounter is actually the second recent asteroid to pass Earth, as 2018 DU swept pass Earth 175,000 miles above the surface on Sunday.
Asteroids are so common that EarthSky reported 2018 DV1 is the 18th known asteroid to fly within one lunar distance of Earth since the start of the new year.
2018 DV1 was discovered on Monday and advances in technology are only now making such sightings possible, which is why there may be more reported instances of close asteroids as astronomers are better able to detect them.
An earlier asteroid named 2018 CB passed over one-fifth of a distance between the Earth and moon in February and was larger than this most recent asteroid, measuring between 50 and 130 feet in diameter. 2018 DV1 has an estimated diameter of 20 to 40 feet.
“Although 2018 CB is quite small, it might well be larger than the asteroid that entered the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, almost exactly five years ago in 2013,” Paul Chodas of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory told the Daily Mail.
2018 DV1 will be webcast live through the Virtual Telescope Project in collaboration with the Tengra Observatory in Arizona.
Similar live web footage has made it possible for people all over the world to view spectacular astronomical events such as the 2017 solar eclipse, which was broadcast by NASA.
By Kay Vandette, Earth.com Staff Writer