New Delhi: A small asteroid named 2016 RB1 remarkably flew past the Earth on September 7, 2016 at a distance of about 40,000 kilometers.
After passing by the Earth, the asteroid headed for the Moon.
Acording to NASA, the asteroid’s orbit carried it below or over the Earth’s south pole as it did not pass within the orbits of communication or weather satellites. 2016 RB1 is estimated to be between 25 to 50 feet (7 and 16 meters) in diameter. It is the closest the space rock will come to Earth for at least the next half century.
Astronomers recently discovered the asteroid '2016 RB1' on September 5, 2016, by using the 60-inch Cassegrain reflector telescope at Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona, US.
The Center for NEO Studies website has a complete list of recent and upcoming close approaches, as well as all other data on the orbits of known NEOs (near-Earth objects), so scientists and members of the media and public can track information on known objects, as per reports.