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 Four Asteroids Buzz Earth in Single Week

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PostSubject: Four Asteroids Buzz Earth in Single Week   Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:55 am



In the last seven days, an asteroid 131 feet (40 meters) across and three smaller space rocks have zoomed safely by Earth, the latest demonstration that we live in a solar system that some scientists have dubbed a "cosmic shooting gallery."

All four asteroid flybys occurred between March 4 and today (March 10). The asteroids were also all discovered this month, some just days ago.

The biggest space rock encounter occurred Saturday (March 9), when the asteroid 2013 ET passed just inside 600,000 miles (965,606 kilometers) of Earth, about 2.5 times the distance between the planet and the moon. Early estimates for the asteroid suggested its size could be up to 460 feet (140 meters) across - about the size of a city block - but radar observations performed in the last several days by astronomers using NASA's Goldstone radar antenna in California revealed the smaller, 131-foot size, scientists said.

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