Stargazers were on high alert as a plane-sized asteroid made an extremely close flyby of Earth overnight, but three more space rocks are due to graze the planet’s backyard before Tuesday is done.
Asteroid 2021 EQ3 shot past Earth at 12 kilometers per second or roughly 43,000kph at 9:45pm PT Monday night.
About the same size as the Chelyabinsk meteor, which damaged more than 7,200 buildings in southwestern Russia in 2013, the 21-meter 2021 EQ3 passed the planet at a distance of 269,000km or one-seventh of the distance between Earth and the Moon.
For reference, the average distance between Earth and its natural satellite the Moon is about 385,000km.
Before March 16 is over however, amateur and professional astronomers alike can expect more space rock salutes.
The nine-meter (1.5 times the size of a giraffe) 2021 EJ3 will pass the planet at just 759,610km followed shortly after by the 16-meter (four times the length of a VW Beetle) 2021 EW3, at 2.4 million kilometers and the 34-meter (half the wingspan of a 747) 2021 DT, at just over seven million kilometers.
This is but a mere prelude to the visit of the truly monstrous, Golden-Gate-Bridge-sized asteroid 2001 FO32, which will pass Earth on March 21.
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