It is thought to be part of the Asten group of asteroids found flying around Earth, Venus and Mercury.
A small asteroid was located close to the Earth’s atmosphere passing a mere 23,900 miles from our planet according to NASA’s Near-Earth Object (NEO) program.
The asteroid named 2016 RB1, and measuring somewhere between 4 and 14 meters, was detected through the Mt. Lemmon Survey’s 60-inch Cassegian Telescope at the University of Arizona in the early hours of Monday Sept. 5 and was spotted flying over the south pole of Earth.
It flew so close, in fact, that it almost came into contact with Earth’s satellites but luckily there were no collisions while it moved at a speed of nearly 18,000 mph. After it’s path towards Earth, the 2016 RB1 turned and made it’s way in the direction of the moon.
The wayward rock is thought to be part of the Asten group of asteroids that move around the inner solar system in the vicinity of Venus and Mercury as well as planet Earth. But there’s no need to panic – scientists say it’s the closest the asteroid will come to Earth for the next 50 years at least. A much larger asteroid, 2016 QA2, was spotted earlier this year coming close to 50,000 miles from Earth but the chances of an asteroid making impact is extremely low.
For more information on current asteroid tracking you can visit NASA’s NEO program website.