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Aug 30, 2014 Last Updated: 05:16 AM EDT
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Small Asteroid Zips by Earth, Comes Closer than Moon

May 05, 2014 07:40 AM EDT
(Photo : REUTERS/NASA/JPL-CALTECH/FILES) A small asteroid whipped by Earth at a very close range over the weekend.

An asteroid the size of a city bus zipped by Earth at a very near range - closer than the moon - on Saturday, Liberty Voice reported.

The asteroid made its closest approach to Earth at 4:13 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, according to Space news.

The asteroid, known as 2014 HL129, came within 186,000 miles or about 299,338 kilometers of Earth when it made its closest approach to the planet early Saturday morning. The distance was close enough for the recently discovered asteroid to pass between the Earth and the orbit of the moon, scientists said.

The average distance between the Earth and moon is about 238,855 miles or about 384,400 kilometers.

However, the asteroid did not post any sort of threat toward the Earth, scientists said.

The asteroid was about 25 feet or 7.6 meters wide, according to NASA's Asteroid Watch project, which is located in the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Asteroid 2014 HL129 was discovered on April 28 by several astronomers who were working with the Mt. Lemmon survey team.

The team sent out an alert along with their counterparts at the Minor Planet Center, which is a part of the International Astronomical Union that chronicles any newly discovered asteroid.

The survey team scans the night sky using a telescope at the Steward Observatory, which is located on top of the Catalina mountain range in Arizona.

Members of NASA as well research teams around the world constantly monitor the sky for asteroids, either small or those potentially dangerous ones, which could pose a threat to the planet.

Many people think that an asteroid hitting the Earth can only be seen in science fiction movies, but researchers said it's only a matter of time before an asteroid smashes its way into the world.

For instance, if an asteroid the size of a small house hit the Earth at 30,000 mph, the impact would equal to that of a 20 kiloton bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, crushing reinforced concrete buildings about a half mile from the center of impact and leveling any structures located a mile from ground zero, researchers said. 

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