Back-to-Back Asteroids Harmlessly Fly Past Earth

A newly discovered small asteroid has harmlessly zipped close to Earth – just as scientists expected.

The 16-foot (4.88-meter)-long space rock, discovered Monday, passed by early Tuesday at a distance of 8,950 miles (14,403 kilometers) from the Earth’s surface.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which tracks such flybys, said the asteroid – dubbed 2012 KT42 – was the sixth closest asteroid approach.

It was the second asteroid encounter this week. On Monday, another asteroid, measuring 69 feet (21 meters) across, flew by at a distance of 32,000 miles (51,497 kilometers).