Close Encounters

Asteroid CA7
Asteroid 2011 CA7
Image Credit: NASA / JPL

Asteroid 2011 CA7 made its closest approach to Earth yesterday, 9 February, passing inside the Moon's orbit.

NASA's Near-Earth Object Program tracks asteroids and comets that are in the Earth's neighborhood. And its a crowded neighborhood. The NEO Program publishes the Close Approach Table.

Earlier this week:

Asteroid 2011 CQ1 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on February 4 and made a record close Earth approach 14 hours later on February 4 at 19:39 UT (14:39 EST). It passed to within 0.85 Earth radii (5480 km) of the Earth's surface over a region in the mid-Pacific. This object, only about one meter in diameter, is the closest non-impacting object in our asteroid catalog to date.

That's just over 3,200 miles above the surface of the Earth.