An asteroid large enough to destroy a city has passed between the orbits of the Earth and the Moon – luckily for us, missing both.
The object, named 2023 DZ2, was discovered a month ago.
As predicted by scientists, it passed within 175,000km of the Earth on Saturday after flying past the Moon.
It is rare for such a huge asteroid – estimated to be between 40 and 90m in diameter – to come so close to the planet.
Astronomers described it as a once-in-a decade event.
According to Nasa, it was an important opportunity for astronomers to increase their knowledge of asteroids, in the event that a dangerous object were discovered with the potential to hit Earth.
“There is no chance of this ‘city killer’ striking Earth, but its close approach offers a great opportunity for observations,” said the European Space Agency’s planetary defence chief, Richard Moissl.
Mr Moissl said preliminary data suggested 2023 DZ2 was “a scientifically interesting object”.
But he added that more data was needed to determine the asteroid’s composition.
With such a close pass of the Earth, the asteroid was visible through binoculars and small telescopes across the globe. (BBC)