Super shark-size asteroid comes within striking distance of satellites – CNET


They’re out there.

Theodore R. Kareta

It’s not exactly an apex predator, but an asteroid was spotted prowling the depths of space Thursday at the same distance from Earth as some satellites. 

The space rock measures up to 7 meters (23 feet) across, making it about the size of a large truck, van or “Deep Blue,” believed to be the largest shark on record. 

Asteroid 2019 JH7 was first spotted by astronomers on Tuesday as it approached our planetary neighborhood. It passed by us two days later at a distance of around 45,000 miles (72,500 kilometers), around the same altitude where some satellites (like the Magnetospheric Multiscale quartet) orbit Earth.

2019 JH7, which made the fifth-closest observed flyby of an asteroid so far this year, poses about as much of a risk to humans as Deep Blue appears to threaten the divers in the above video. 

While 45,000 miles is close in cosmic terms, it’s still a safe flyby distance. Even if the asteroid had collided with our atmosphere, it’s likely that most of it would have burned up before ever making it to the ground.

So just keep on swimming, earthlings, all is well in space and, apparently, alongside Deep Blue.

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