A small asteroid passed by Earth early Monday morning at a distance of 6,992 kilometers from the planet’s surface, only six hours after it was discovered, Abu Dhabi’s International Astronomical Center (IAC) announced on Twitter.
“It would have caused local damage if it had collided with Earth,” IAC said in a tweet.
The asteroid, named C2QQFV2, had disappeared at 11:40 a.m. GMT and reappeared at 11:56 a.m., according to the center. The closest distance between asteroid and Earth was recorded at 12:05 GMT when it passed over the south Pacific Ocean.
محاكاة لمرور الكويكب بجانب الأرض اليوم. pic.twitter.com/GJXQfVSKTs— مركز الفلك الدولي (@AstronomyCenter) May 4, 2020
The asteroid was discovered through NASA’s “Catalina” program based in the state of Arizona in the United States. The program consists of three telescopes, with the largest having a one and half meter diameter, and its purpose is to discover such asteroids, IAC added.
This is the 40th asteroid to pass by Earth in 2020, and it is the second this month, according to IAC. It is also the closest asteroid to pass by the planet since October 31, 2019. And, it is the sixth closest asteroid in the history of the Earth.