An asteroid about the size of a car will pass close by Earth Wednesday (Feb. 9), the second space rock in five days to fly near – but pose no threat of hitting – our planet.
The asteroid is called 2011 CA7 and will fly within 64,300 miles (103,480 kilometers) of Earth tomorrow, according to an alert from NASA’s Asteroid Watch program. It is about 9 1/2 feet across (nearly 3 meters) and was discovered by astronomers earlier this month.
The asteroid will make its closest pass by Earth at around 2:25 p.m. EST (1925 GMT), according to the small-body database overseen by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
On Feb. 4, the asteroid 2011 CQ 1 sailed within 3,400 miles (5471 km) of Earth during its brief encounter. That asteroid was about 4 feet (1.3 meters) wide, less than half the size of 2011 CA7.
For comparison, the distance between Earth and the moon is about 238,900 miles (384,402 km).
Like Friday’s asteroid flyby, 2011 CA7 poses no threat of impacting Earth. Even if it did enter Earth’s atmosphere, the space rock would never survive the fiery trip to the surface. It’s so small, it would likely break apart or incinerate on the way down.