Earth Has a Couple of ‘Near’ Misses

Earth Has a Couple of ‘Near’ Misses

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Over the past couple of days, two asteroids ‘2012 XE54’ and ‘4179 Toutatis’ passed close to Earth. 4179 Toutatis, a lumpy shaped asteroid which is roughly 3 miles long, is classified as a potentially hazardous object (PHO) by astronomers and has passed closed to Earth several times before, in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. PHOs are asteroids or comets with orbits that come within less than 19.5 lunar distances, 4.6 million miles from Earth’s orbit (one lunar distance is the distance between the moon and earth).

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