At approximately 16.00(GMT) today (27th Jan 2012) an Asteroid estimated to about 11m with a diameter of 36ft, will pass within 60,000km of Earth!
This puts the space rock – called 2012 BX34 – into the top 20 closest approaches. It can’t be seen with the naked eye, but amateur astronomers with strong enough telescopes might be able to catch a glimpse of the asteroid.
2012 BX34 was first spotted on Wednesday and initial approximations put the space-rock’s closest distance as near as 20,000km, in the vicinity of where geostationary satellites reside, but last night’s observations showed that we in fact have a little more breathing space!
However Astronomers stress there is absolutely no cause for concern. Gareth Williams, associate director of US-Based Minor Planet Center told the BBC that it was ‘sufficiently far away…that there’s absolutely no chance of it hitting us.”
It is 15.42, I’m sitting in my living room, drinking a cup of tea, writing this article and hoping with all my heart that he’s right – it might be a bit late to call Harry Stamper and the boys from ‘Armageddon’ (1998) to sort it out this time!!