A huge asteroid just flew past Earth - it didn't hit us, but others might


Asteroid Crash from space


On Monday, March 7 at 8:42 a.m. ET, a rogue asteroid passed by Earth, missing us by a safe 2.54 million miles.

This was obviously great news for our planet, considering scientists predicted back in February that there was a chance it could swoop as close as a staggering 11,000 miles from Earth - about 22 times closer than our moon. That would've been a near-miss.

Scientists have been keeping a watchful eye on this errant space rock they've dubbed asteroid 2013 TX68 since they discovered it a few years ago.


In 2013, it swooped within 1.3 million miles of our home planet, measuring about 100 feet in diameter, roughly the size of an airplane.

While new NASA calculations say that this particular rock isn't going to hit us within the next 100 years - even on its next pass slated for September 28, 2017 - others might.

Though the likelihood is small, the consequences of a strike would be enormous, according to Nahum Melamed, a project manager with the Aerospace Corporation.


Melamed recently spoke at an event for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Manhattan Beach, California, about what scientists refer to as planetary defense, and Tech Insider was in the audience.

Here's what asteroids have done in the past, and what scientists at NASA and other institutions are doing to mitigate their threat in the future.