Close Encounter with an Asteroid | NBC New York

Close Encounter with an Asteroid

Uh-oh, it misses earth by just 38,000 miles



    Asteroid 2009 DD45, seen here in space. Let's hope it stays there.

    An asteroid flew by earth this week - just missing the planet by 38,000 miles. The astronomer who discovered the asteroid assured everyone it's nothing to worry, at least for the next century.

    Robert McNaught of the Australian National University discovered the asteroid over Sydney, Australia had passed by our planet on Monday, according to

    "It's not something to worry about, but something to be aware of," he told CNN. It begs the questions, why weren't we aware of it earlier?

    Asteroid 2009 DD45 is 40-yards-wide, less than twice the size of geostationary satellites that earth depends on for communications, said McNaught.

    If it had collided with earth, the destruction would be devastating, but not as bad as Hollywood  movies have depicted in the past, added McNaught.

    The 2009 DD45 asteroid circles around the sun every 18 months, he said. It doesn't look to threaten our planet in the foreseeable future.

    The number of asteroids that come close to earth has grown over the last few decades thanks to high-tech programs that scan the sky, said McNaught. Nearly 100 new "potentially harmful asteroids" have been discovered the last several years, he said.

    Let's just hope none get as close as 2009 DD45.