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November 8 2012

MONSTER ASTEROID 'PINGED' AS IT BUZZES EARTH


As the U.S. consumed itself in campaigns and ballots, scientists using NASA's 70-meter wide Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., released images of something that should put all of our Earthly politics into perspective.

Over three days, Goldstone "pinged" a 1.6-kilometer (1-mile) wide asteroid that approached our planet from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30. The huge space rock, called 2007 PA8, was 9 million kilometers (5.6 million miles) from Earth on Oct. 30. It made closest approach on Nov 5. (Monday), coming within 17 times the Earth-moon distance (4 million miles or 6.5 million kilometers).

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